US Eating Disorders expert Dr Cynthia Bulik provides these nine insights important for anyone who wishes to understand more about eating disorders. They come from her presentation ‘Eating Disorders – Myths Busted’. Read them here.

Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.

Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.

Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.

Truth #5: Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Truth #6: Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.

Truth #7: Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.

Truth #8: Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.

Truth #9: Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

What should you do if you or someone close to you has symptoms of eating disorder? Ellern Mede eating disorders experts encourage you to arrange a visit with your GP and talk about your symptoms. Your GP will refer you to an eating disorders specialist team.

Ellern Mede’s Youtube channel includes resources and advice. The nine truths have been translated into many languages by The Academy for Eating Disorders. You can hear a sample in a variety of languages here.