Coming out. A term we’ve heard a lot this past year with the topic of gay rights in the news headlines and on the ballots. But today I’m talking about a different coming out. I’m talking about coming out about eating disorders.
This week Christine Quinn, the New York City Council speaker and candidate for mayor came out about her battle with bulimia and alcoholism. In a New York Times article, she said, “I just want people to know you can get through stuff. I hope people can see that in what my life has been and where it is going.”
Also in the headlines recently, another well-known female in the spotlight, Katie Couric recently spoke about her battle with bulimia in college. In a USA Today article Couric said, “she was glad she had shared with viewers her ordeal with bulimia, ‘because it’s so commonplace.’”
And unfortunately, as Couric says, eating disorders have become commonplace. According to Duke University:
- Among western women between 15 and 24 years old, approximately 1 out of every 200 suffers from anorexia nervosa, while about 1 in 50 is bulimic.
- Between 10 and 50 percent of American college women report having binge eaten and then vomited to control their weight.
- Approximately 40 percent of American girls ages 9 and 10 report being or having been on a diet to lose weight.
- Some 50 to 60 percent of teenage American girls believe they are overweight, yet only 15 to 20 percent of them actually are overweight.
I applaud Christine Quinn, Katie Couric, and all the other women who decided to stand up and talk about their eating disorders. Imagine how many lives they touch and inspire by talking about their struggles – just by saying, hey, you’re not alone — you can get through this.
Let’s talk about eating disorders.