GHENT, WV (WVNS) — National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is observed this year from February 20, 2023 to February 26, 2023.

It’s an annual event meant to raise awareness of the resources accessible to those who suffer from these diseases. One of the main objectives of the week is to spread information and hear the stories of people in recovery and their families as well as learning about these life saving resources. Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, body size, or sexuality.

History of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

According to, eating disorders go back as far as the 12th Century. Before that, during the reign of Caesar, wealthy Romans would overindulge in food and drink and would relieve themselves by vomiting and then return to their expensive feast. This was a routine during this time.

Purging was a practice in ancient times in societies such as ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Arabia. They believed this routine was to prevent diseases brought on by food. Women would believing that their desire for food was sinful.

In 1959, first observed as “Night Eating Syndrome” was a binge eating disorder. It was later clarified that this condition can happen at any time of day, not just at night. When the 1990s came around, Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.) was recognized as a medical condition that affected people who were ’emotionally overeating,’ ‘compulsively overeating,’ or had a ‘food addiction.’

The National Eating Disorders Association, which is the United States’ biggest non-profit organization dedicated to those suffering from eating disorders and their families, established National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

For more than 30 years, this annual, week-long event has provided nationally and internationally people the resources to help those suffering from these eating disorders and to help understand common misconceptions about eating disorders.

How to Observe National Eating Disorders Awareness Week explains ways you can observe this week and how you can contribute:

Volunteer to operate a helpline

People need someone to help them with their struggles, and you can help them by speaking to them. This is extremely important since some eating disorders may also be associated with suicidal behavior, including self-harm.

Educate yourself

You should try to educate yourself about eating disorders: types, habits of people who struggle with them, and many other reasons as to why some have become accustomed to this behavior. Be open-minded and just listen to what these people overcoming these disorders are going through.

Share your experiences

If you have had any experience with eating disorders, you can share so others can learn more or you can invite someone who has also shared similar experiences to talk about their recovery and journey.

Why National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Important explains why this week is significant:

It raises awareness

The week raises awareness of eating disorders, as well as factors that may be responsible for developing eating disorders. There are so many misconceptions and myths about them.

It allows for open and honest discussions

It can be difficult to overcome an eating disorder, which is why it’s very important to have open and honest discussions with others struggling with eating disorders. If you struggle from an eating disorder, know that you are not suffering alone.

It offers support

The week serves as an opportunity to show support for a group of people whose hardships are often invisible or overlooked. You should openly discuss and offer support to those suffering and in need.

If you would like more information about National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and how you can contribute, please visit