ED Awareness

Eating Disorders & ASD: Reflections on World Autism Awareness Day

Almost a year has passed since I delivered my talk to NEDIC on the link between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and eating disorders. In that time more research has come out to support this surprising overlap between these seemingly distinct disorders. In August 2013, Simon Baron-Cohen and his team at the Autism Research Centre published a study that examined the cognitive profile of 66 teenage women with anorexia. Compared to their peers, women with anorexia had elevated autistic traits, reduced empathy and high levels of systemizing thinking.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW) 2014 at NEDIC

At the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), we know that talking saves lives. That's why we're raising our voices in promoting awareness of eating disorders for EDAW 2014 - February 2 - 8.

Here are our updates and activities for EDAW 2014:

Our goal is to reduce the prevalence of anorexia, bulimia, dieting and body image problems through a public education program examining the cultural, psychological and biological factors influencing their development.


When you flip through the fashion magazines, you won’t find my body anywhere. When you watch TV, you might see me as a background character, meant to offer inspiration to the show’s main hero. I am the woman with a visible physical disability. You probably see my wheelchair, my cane, and my guide dog. Or you may notice my scars, my speech impediment, and my caregivers…yet, in many ways, I am invisible.

Holiday Season Feature

We are featuring two posts, from two authors, Liz and Marina, as part of this Holiday Season Feature.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of those that have contributed to the NEDIC Blog in 2013. Your stories, combined with your unique perspectives, have made for informative and engaging reads over the last year. This will be our final post of 2013, but we will be back in January 2014 to keep these important conversations going.

Whose Body Is It Anyways?

When I was in the 10th grade, like most students, I started thinking about what I was going to do after high school. However, unlike many high school students, I was concerned about who was going to help me get ready every morning once I moved out of my parents’ home. I have muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle wasting disease that impacts the muscles in both my legs and arms. I had been just two years shy of using a wheelchair at that point. Going from standing to sitting all day, I had gained some weight. And weight gain for a disabled woman, I learned, was not an option.


When she told us of her newfound wheat allergy we accepted it for what is was and began on the road to helping her adjust her life and be wheat free. This was our first mistake.

Banning Junk Food, Creating Unhealthy Mindsets

James S. Bell Junior Middle School in Toronto has banned “junk food” from lunches. Students who bring items such as candy or even granola bars will be asked to take the items back home. The reasoning behind this decision is that the school styles itself as a “sports and wellness academy”. They further reinforce these values by sending kids back to the cafeteria line if they do not have enough vegetables on their plate. Although the general population may perceive these initiatives as positive and healthy – they do not sit well with me.

Speak Up – A Call Out to the Guys

I was going to college for health and fitness in Toronto when my behaviours became extreme. As my weight and health quickly plummeted no one asked me what was going on. Even at my physically worst I was only ever asked about drug use by doctors, but never a question about food or exercise. Hidden in plain sight, I was a man with an eating disorder.