Resources to overcome eating disorders available year-round in Utah

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Eating Disorder Awareness Week runs from Feb. 26 to March 3. Nationwide events are set to introduce resources available for survivors.

In Utah, organizations such as the BYU Center for Psychological Services and Orem’s Center for Change provide year-round support for those looking to overcome eating disorders.

CAPS Assistant Clinical Faculty Lesli Allen explained eating disorders are notoriously difficult to diagnose because many individuals do not fit what social media has dubbed the “eating disorder body.” She says this does not make eating disorders less deadly.

“Anorexia is the second most deadly mental illness that there is,” Allen said.

The National Association of Eating Disorders Association reports every 52 minutes one person will die as a direct consequence of eating disorders, which they said is often the result of insufficient nutrients from food.

To combat this, the National Association of Eating Disorders Association aims to end all forms of food restriction, including disordered eating.

Allen said disordered eating involves strict rules about food.

“Maybe they’ll restrict certain types of food, or they have a lot of food rules like no food after six, or no carbohydrates, or sugar is bad for me,” Allen said.

For example, Allen explained that an individual eating a fruit, such as an apple, may choose to only eat apples because they are healthier than sugary options or may choose not to eat apples during certain times of the day.

Resources are available for individuals with eating disorders year-round in Utah through the Center for Change.

Clinical Director for in-patient care Shauna Cavalli said their Orem facilities provide levels of personal care. The first step is to reach out, she said.

“First thing would be to give a call to our admissions team,” Cavalli said. “They can walk you through the process of what you are looking for.”

Cavalli said the Center for Change’s five levels of care give people options for their recovery. Recovery is worth seeking out professional help, she said.

“It’s possible,” Cavalli says. “And its worth it. Recovery is absolutely worth everything you can put into it.”

She said giving victims hope is key to their recovery.

“So just have hope that change is possible and that you can live a happy and fulfilling life,” Cavalli said.

To obtain emergency assistance with an eating disorder, the ANAD Helpline is available at 1-888-375-7767.

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