As an eating disorder specialist, it is bittersweet to read the story about Hannah Frazee who developed an eating disorder on the erroneous advice of her high school coach (“Former Prairie star devised 55 eating rules meant to be broken,” Jan. 7).
The impact that adults, especially coaches and teachers, have on middle and high school students is immense. The pivotal moment for many of my clients as they look back and determine when their disordered behaviors started, was a comment or recommendation from a coach or health teacher. The National Eating Disorder Association has an excellent tool kit for coaches to download on their website to enhance their understanding of eating disorders. It can be found at https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/coach-trainer.
If you work with people, you are interacting with a certain percentage of people who struggle with eating disorders. To help bring awareness to eating disorders, The Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa is bringing an international specialist to do an intense one-day “boot camp” for professional on Feb. 24 in Des Moines. The workshop is open to all professionals and information can be found at: http://www.edciowa.com/. I highly recommend the boot camp.
Eating disorders are the deadliest of all mental health disorders. Awareness and education can help decrease the prevalence of them in our communities. Frazee was very brave by shining light on a disease that thrives in secrecy and shame.