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Why Are Our Children Dying To Be Thin?

Updated on June 2, 2015
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I started working in the performing arts industry after attending Colgate University in 1981. My early work was as a personal manager.

Eating Disorders are a Mental Illness

Do we recognize eating disorder symtoms
Do we recognize eating disorder symtoms | Source
The Barbie doll's inclusion in the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has ignited a heated debate over body image and eating disorders.
The Barbie doll's inclusion in the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has ignited a heated debate over body image and eating disorders. | Source
Hollistic/Wellness Youth Activist, Joi Hall
Hollistic/Wellness Youth Activist, Joi Hall | Source

Eating Disorders are Preventable, Treatable, and there is Help.

When we hear the term, eating disorder, most of us don't readily identify with what it is, and when we see a report on the news, it's most likely a story about Obesity, Bulimia, or Anorexia, which is something many of us probably don't recognize as being a problem in our households.

In fact, many of us probably see eating disorders as a choice rather than a mental illness, and therefore, don't realize the severity of it.

Simply put, eating disorders are devastating and create isolating conditions that strongly impact individuals, families, and communities.

While statistics show that eating disorders are now more prevalent than Breast Cancer or Alzheimer's, and that there are now studies showing a direct link of eating disorders to Heart Disease, Hypertension and Depression, it receives relatively little resources for research, prevention, and treatment.

The impact this disease is having on our young people in this country has become an epidemic. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate than any other cause of death among females between the ages of 15 and 24 years of age.

There are a good many awareness groups now fighting this epidemic, such as the National Eating Disorders Association(NEDA), and the Emily Program Foundation. Along with better data, something people like Bill and Melinda Gates at their foundation work at providing good numbers for our understanding of how to move initiatives forward, allows those groups to make us aware and provide treatment.

The health-care costs of eating disorders in this country has its impact as well. The average cost for one month of inpatient treatment in the state of South Carolina is $30,000.00.

Still more work and heightened awareness is the cause Holistic/Wellness and Youth Activist, Joi Hall, has taken up with her company, Empowered By Joi, of Los Angeles, CA.

Having struggled with self-image disorders herself that often lead to eating disorders, and having family members who have also suffered from this mental illness, became Joi's mission after having concern that her own children could suffer from this one day, and that families in her community are indeed suffering from a disease that is not fully understood.

In addition to reaching out to such eating disorder organizations as aforementioned, such as NEDA, where Joi is a volunteer speaker in their webinar programs to share her insights and personal experiences with this illness, Joi has created a campaign called, 'Dying To Be Thin Youth Eating Disorders Awareness'.

'Dying To Be Thin Youth Eating Disorders Awareness' is a "movement of empowering and transforming the lives of our youth, and communities from a holistic perspective through self development, health and wellness initiatives, community involvement, and leadership", states the company's website.

Empowered by Joi is taking the alarming statistics that is directly impacting our children's lives with an awareness campaign across America to drive home education, recognition, and the understanding that eating disorders in our children is treatable and preventable.

The first fund raising event being produced by Empowered by Joi will take place this Summer on the campus of UCLA, whose school has a dedicated eating disorders treatment and research center itself. This is the first of a series of fund raiser events that Empowered by Joi plans to do in raising monies and awareness for organizations who are doing the day-to-day works to treat our kids who are being impacted.

If you have a child who suffers from an eating disorder, or have come through this illness yourself, Empowered by Joi wants to hear from you. You can visit the website at and share your experience.

If you are in a position to support, or are with a company that would like to sponsor the event, or make a donation, Empowered By Joi encourages you to do so, and invites you to get involved.

You can see more about this campaign at:

www.empoweredbyjoi.com

Empowered By Joi wants everyone ~ mothers, fathers, and young people ~ to realize most of all, that eating disorders can be prevented, can be treated, and there is help.

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's Soul than the way in which it treats its children" ~ Nelson Mandela.

Joi Hall on 'Dying To Be Thin' Awareness Campaign Call to Action.

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      Charlie 3 years ago

      Interesting reading! definitely agree that there is a strong link between eating disorders and depression.. ie) you do/ don't eat because you're depressed & it also works the other way too.. comfort eating or not eating for fear of getting 'fat' can cause depression and other serious mental/ physical illnesses. It's a vicious circle, and a problem that often goes un-noticed for some time.