National Eating Disorders Week hopes to raise awareness: How to get help

Designed to raise awareness of conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, National Eating Disorders Week occurs Feb. 23 to March 1. It’s also intended to help sufferers, parents and friends discover how to get help as well as what to do to prevent these diseases, reported Forbes on Feb. 22.

The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, but the causes and solutions are not so easily categorized, say experts.

“Eating disorders are complicated and vexing problems and we don’t exactly understand the pathophysiology of them,” noted Dr. Aaron Krasner, a practicing psychiatrist, and Director of the Adolescent Transitional Living Program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut.

“Certainly there is both a genetic component and an environmental component,” he added. But “it is not a one size fits all remedy or a preventive strategy.”

An estimated 10 million women and one million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, according to the Eating Disorder Foundation.

And eating disorders do not discriminate: Addiction specialist Drew Pinksy’s daughter Paulina just revealed that she battled bulimia and anorexia for seven years, reported USA Today on Feb. 24.

“Purging eight times in one day to cope with the emotional stress of being home during spring break had finally scared me enough to take action,” she wrote in an essay on body shame.

One of the keys to recovery: Talking about it rather than trying to hide the disorder, says Paulina.

“For me, talking about it normalizes talking about it. Eating disorders shouldn’t be a secret because that’s what perpetuates them,” she explained.

Dr. Drew said he takes pride in his daughter’s decision to get help.

“When she recognized she needed help she sought treatment and actively engaged in the process. And now she is using her insights to help others,” he stated.

But for those with eating disorders, the path to recovery can be long and difficult, revealed Jenni Schaefer recently in the Huffington Post. She’s the author of “Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem? (The Almost Effect)” and “Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too” (click for details).

Even after getting professional help, Jenni remained too thin. And she was obsessed with the “thigh gap” look symptomatic of women who are unnaturally slender.

Alessandra Ambrosio: From Victoria’s Secret Angel to fashion designer

Model and Victoria’s Secret Angel, Alessandra Ambrosio is set to launch a new fashion line as reported via Glamour on Monday. Alé by Alessandra Ambrosio will debut on March 17.

Ambrosio partnered with Planet Blue, a Los Angeles-based boho line, and the collection is infused with Alessandra’s style. Expect beachy and bohemian type mini dresses that flow, ruffled skirts, convertible tees, and sexy jumpsuits, which according to the Brazilian supermodel is a “reflection of her lifestyle: Malibu meets Brazil.”

Alessandra Ambrosio, 32, detailed her new fashion endeavor in the recent Glamour interview, and labeled her clothing line, “bohemian chic.”

It’s comfortable. It’s sensual. It’s feminine. It’s very flowy with soft fabrics. The palettes are nude to cayenne and some midnight blue colors that we did for the nighttime. And there are different prints: from paisley to hand-dyed tie-dye. There are dresses, jumpsuits, and a little black dress, but it’s not your normal little black dress. And every girl needs to have one in her wardrobe.

Ambrosio’s fashion tip to accessorize the little black dress depends on the mood you’re in on any given day: basically anything goes.

The clothing line, Alé by Alessandra Ambrosio, the smoldering Victoria’s Secret Angel, will range from $60 to $260 and is available on March 17 at Planet Blue.