The Nine Truths About Eating Disorders

World Eating Disorder Action Day promotes the “Nine Truths About Eating Disorders”:


Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.
Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.
Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.
Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.
Truth #5: Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.
Truth #6: Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.
Truth #7: Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.
Truth #8: Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.
Truth #9: Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

The “Nine Truths” have been translated into multiple languages and were produced by the Academy for Eating Disorders in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, who serves as distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Nine Truths” is based on Dr. Bulik’s 2014 “9 Eating Disorders Myths Busted” talk at the National Institute of Mental Health.

A number of other organizations have worked to disseminate the “Nine Truths” including:

  • Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
  • National Eating Disorders Association
  • The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation
  • Residential Eating Disorders Consortium
  • Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action
  • MultiService Eating Disorders Association
  • Binge Eating Disorder Association
  • Eating Disorder Parent Support Group
  • International Eating Disorder Action
  • Project HEAL
  • Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders