National Eating Disorder Awareness Week [February 21-27] kicks off today with different events throughout the country aimed to bring vigilance towards the issue.

Eating disorders are potentially life-threatening conditions affecting around 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States according to The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

These unhealthy eating habits include Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, and unusual feeding behaviors. The symptoms range from extreme emotions, attitudes, and life-threatening actions surrounding weight and food issues according to the NEDA.

The goal of the NEDA this week is to put a spotlight on eating disorders reflecting their causes, dangers, and treatments. Exposing people to national statistics and resources in prevention, eating disorders will have a higher chance of early detection and intervention that can potentially save lives.

Since 2001, the NEDA has advocated for support towards individuals and families affected. The non-profit organization campaigns for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased funding to better understand and treat the illness.

The official website of the NEDA provides full information of the week’s events in designated areas found here. Look out for community walks, parades, conferences, and ads promoting the cause. Also, online there is a three-minute screening application to test for possible eating disorders. Access to the quick test can be found here.

Social media is also a large platform providing information for the week’s awareness. People can simply type #NEDAwareness in their search bar on Twitter or Facebook to find the latest news and details for the cause.