Public Relations Spotlight: Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Part of the most rewarding job of working in Public Relations is helping our clients do good for the community. This week was definitely full of moments like that.

As National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 22 – 28) comes to a close, I am so proud to have helped Eating Disorder Center of Fresno (EDCF) shine light on an issue that often gets swept under the rug.


There is one moment that solidified the importance of this week: While speaking to reporters around the Fresno, I met one reporter who walked away with plans to contact EDCF after realizing his daughter is struggling and she needs help now. If one person finds help through our work this week, every second was worth it.

You may be surprised at just how common and deadly these disorders are.

  • More than 20 million American women and 10 million American men suffer from a clinical eating disorder at some point in their lives
  • Eating disorders do not discriminate. They affect all ages, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations.
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder
  • Eating disorders are often more difficult to recover from than other addictions because the offending substance is necessary to consume daily
  • More than 40 – 60% of elementary school girls (between the ages of six and 12) are concerned about their weight or becoming too fat

Steve Schaefer, Clinical Directer and Founder of EDCF, met with ABC 30 and KSEE 24 to educate the public on the symptoms of the diseases, how to intervene, and much more about this life-threatening condition. Watch one of the segments below:

EDCF also hosted an open house event on Monday, February 23, to educate the community about the seriousness of eating disorders, and to improve public understanding of their causes, triggers and treatments. Too often, signs and symptoms are overlooked as insignificant behaviors when, in fact, many of these are early warning signs of eating disorders.

While eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, help is available and recovery is possible. It is important for those affected, and their loved ones, to remember that they are not alone in their struggle.

With the help of EDCF and many other institutions across the country, National Eating Disorder Association aims to increase awareness and access to resources, and encourage early detection and intervention to improve the likelihood of full recovery for millions.

I hope this week brought awareness to the cause, and encouraged Central Valley women and men of all ages who have struggled with disordered eating to find help.

If you or anyone you know are showing signs of disordered eating, contact EDCF at (559) 224-8408 as soon as possible to schedule a free screening.

– Anna Gonzalez, Outreach & New Media Manager