Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb 1-7) spotlights dangers of body shaming and weight stigma, need for peer support

**** EDNS Media Release

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb 1-7) spotlights dangers of body shaming and weight stigma, need for peer support

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 1-7, 2020 and Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (EDNS) is running awareness and fundraising events designed to get Nova Scotians thinking about the negative role of body shaming and weight stigma, as well as the prevalance of eating disorders and the role peer support plays to help those affected move toward recovery.

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia will run pop-up information booths, panel discussions and innovative community fundraising events next week for Eating Disorders Awareness Week February 1 to 7, 2020.

Events include:

Panel Discussion
Monday, February 3​ 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Halifax Central Library

Topic: Weight on our minds: How body shame and weight stigma hurt us all and what to do about it
This public discussion will explore weight stigma, the construction and experience of body shame, and the billion-dollar wellness industry. The session will include practical strategies for addressing weight stigma in your work, relationships and community.

Participants include:

  • Dr. Sara Kirk, professor of Health Promotion and scientific director, Health Populations Institute at Dalhousie University focuses on how to create supportive environments for chronic disease prevention
  • Phillip Joy, Registered dietitian and PhD candidate focusing on body image in the LGBTQ community. Philip also published a comic book series called Rainbow Reflections that addresses body image issues in the lives of gay, trans and bisexual men.

Other events
Halifax-area businesses have donated their expertise and services to raise money for Eating Disorders Nova Scotia. The following fundraising events are also happening during the week

  • Sunday, February 2​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Karma Yoga Class at The Fitness Room, 15 Shoreham Lane
  • Wednesday, February 5​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Meditation for healing workshop at Fiends Co, 2526 Agricola St.
  • Thursday, February 6​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ Flash Tattoo Event at Outlaw Country Tattoo (full)

Eating Disorders Nova Scotia will also host pop-up information booths on college and university campuses in HRM from February 3-7. More details can be found at

About eating disorders and the role of peer support: Eating disorders impact one in 12, causing a cascade of ensuing mental and physical health problems. Over 20 years, 20 per cent of people with eating disorders die from their illness, yet there are only 12 psychiatrists in Canada specializing in eating disorders, virtually no research dollars, and not even an acknowledgment that eating disorders are one of the deadliest mental illnesses.

Peer supporters help people to find support and motivation for recovery, reduce isolation, and build healthy coping skills. Peer supporters reach people who were falling in the gaps in the formal mental health system — people who aren’t ‘sick enough’ for clinical treatment, can’t access or afford therapy, or just are not ready to start intensive treatment. ​ Eating Disorders Nova Scotia peer support programs reach hundreds of people across Nova Scotia, and in other parts of Canada, each year.


About Eating Disorders Nova Scotia: Eating Disorders Nova Scotia (EDNS) was established as a non-profit in 1999 by a group of women who had recovered from an eating disorder and believed that no one should have to face an eating disorder alone. ​ EDNS fights stigma through education, and by encouraging honest dialogue about mental illness, recovery, and social and cultural attitudes. EDNS inspires hope and empowers people affected by eating disorders to find recovery and strength, and to share that strength to build stronger, community-based support for people affected by eating disorders.

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