Changing perceptions on eating disorders

February 28 2014

A CLIFTON-based eating disorder charity has launched a new campaign to tackle the stigma surrounding the illness.

A CLIFTON-based eating disorder charity has launched a new campaign to tackle the stigma surrounding the illness.
Anorexia and Bulimia Care (ABC) is encouraging people to get involved with its 'Change of Heart Campaign', which was launched in conjunction with Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW). 
The campaign is calling for people to have a change of heart about the way they perceive eating disorders and those who suffer.
It features an online project where people are asked to send in a photo of themselves holding the 'Change of Heart' logo along with a sentence on what they would like to see changed.
Imogen Smith from the charity, who has suffered from an eating disorder herself, said: "We’d like as many people as possible to get behind this campaign and help tackle the negative connotations which so often go hand-in-hand with eating disorders.
"The idea is for people to send in a photo of themselves in a heartfelt location, holding the logo which can be downloaded from our website onto their phones, tablets or laptops.
She added: "We would also like them to write a sentence telling us what changes they would like to see in the common perceptions about eating disorders.
"Personally, I would like to see a change in the way eating disorders are perceived as merely forms of control and acts of teenage vanity. They are complex emotional illnesses that can be life-threatening."
Shortlisted entries will be posted onto the charity's Facebook page and website.
The winner of the competition, alongside a friend, will receive a tour of the House of Commons and House of Lords.
They will be shown around by MP Tessa Munt, followed by afternoon tea in the Houses of Parliament. All travel expenses to London will be paid and the winner will receive £150 spending money.
Tessa Munt MP, who has supported the charity for a number of years, said: "Anorexia and bulimia affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. We need to ensure that this growing problem in our society is recognised as a serious mental illness and that the taboo which often goes along with it is tackled head on.
She added: "Latest figures show that national hospital admissions for eating disorders have gone up 8% in the last year bringing the total to 2,560 admissions. This startling reality highlights that something needs to be done."
To support ABC’s campaign, email your photo and sentence to: mail@anorexiabulimiacare.org.uk. The deadline is March 14 with the winner being announced shortly afterwards.