National Nutrition Month & Eating Disorder Awareness
When I was a teenager pursuing a modeling career, I was not only excessively working out and stepping on the scale daily but I was also not paying attention to how the lack of nutrients impacted me. I witnessed girls around my age (15yrs) with eating disorders and it broke my heart seeing how ill they would become. It was then that I realized that the modeling industry was not for me. Now, as a lady in my 30’s, I realize the importance of nutrition and the dangerous repercussions of bad nutrition. March is National Nutrition Month (NNM) which is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes the Academy and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information.*
I decided to check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics site (admittedly until this year I didn’t even know of National Nutrition Month). I created an account and began to explore the website. The three main tabs are:
The MOST resourceful tool on the site is Find an Expert. Recently I was asked to find a nutritionist from my doctor and this site has been helpful in finding a location that works with my daily schedule.
Another site recently launched during NY Fashion week is https://golantern.com/ which is a groundbreaking mobile tool that helps prevent the onset of eating disorders — many eating disorders begin with modest attempts to lose weight that can quickly spiral out of control. In a quest to look fashionable and slim like the models on Fashion Week catwalks, many teenage girls and women adopt thinking patterns that put them at great risk for future body image and eating control issues.**
Below are the six warning signs per Stanford psychologist Dr. Megan Jones:WARNING SIGN #1:
You describe fat as a "feeling."
WARNING SIGN #2: You eat a limited variety of foods or become a vegetarian to restrict food intake.
WARNING SIGN #3: You avoid eating meals or snacks when other people are around.
WARNING SIGN #4: You constantly calculate the amount of fat, carbs, or calories you're eating.
WARNING SIGN #5: You feel ashamed, disgusted, or guilty after eating.
WARNING SIGN #6: You dream of having the body attributes of friends, models, or celebrities.
I believe as women, we need to support each other. After all, we are awesome! If you or someone you love is battling through an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorders Association is great resource. They also have a confidential Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.