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Amanda Buckingham was 16 when she developed an eating disorder. Her battle with anorexia nervosa began with a comment from her dance teacher.
"He called me in and said you better not be getting any bigger," says Amanda.
It was a comment that would change Amanda's perception of food forever.
"I started becoming completely obsessed with everything that I ate."
Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW) was Feb. 1-7 and the
National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) at Toronto General Hospital facilitated inspiring and informative conversations both online and offline.
The week started with a Twitter Chat that saw over 800 mentions of the campaign
#TalkingSavesLives and ended with a live spoken word event where professional artists and amateurs alike shared their views on beauty ideals, body image and self-esteem through poetry and song.
"The instance of food-related eating problems in children has actually risen more than the rate of obesity in the last 15 years," says Dr. Blake Woodside, Medical Director and Co-head of the Eating Disorder Program.
Startling facts were shared by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Status of Women's recent report,
Eating Disorders Among Girls and Women in Canada, indicating that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
From coast to coast proclamations were made and public venues were illuminated purple in honour of EDAW. Individuals who have suffered from eating disorders shared their personal stories in hopes of helping others overcome their fears, encouraging them to break the silence and shed the shame. Community groups, provincial organizations and clinics did their part to engage Canadians in activities and discussion about self-esteem, body image, food and weight preoccupation.
NEDIC will be hosting its bi-annual conference on body image and self-esteem for health care professionals, clinicians and educators on April 16 -17. For program and registration details visit: