Eating Disorder Association

An eating disorder association is an organization dedicated to the support of people with eating disorders, as well as the education about and prevention of eating disorders. This article explains more about the different eating disorder associations.

Eating disorders (ED) are ailments that interfere with a person's healthy relationship with food. There are several different types of eating disorders, which may involve severely limiting food intake, eating more food than the body needs, countering the consumption of food by purging or in other ways, eating substances that do not provide nutrition, and other distortions of normal relationships with food. The main eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa, and having an eating disorder is generally quite challenging. A number of organizations have arisen to assist people and families of people with eating disorders, as well as to provide other types of services related to eating disorders.

Eating disorder associations are found at a variety of levels, from local to national to international. Unlike treatment facilities, eating disorder associations provide ancillary support. While some organizations focus on any and all eating disorders, others focus on a particular type.

Local Eating Disorder Associations

There are a number of state-level and regional eating disorder associations:

• Eating Disorders Association of New Jersey (EDANJ) aims to help prevent and treat all types of eating disorder, as well as any type of dysfunctional eating and distorted body image.

• Massachusetts Eating Disorders Association (MEDA) provides assessment, consultations, support groups, listings of treatment providers, and phone consults for out-of-state family members seeking support for an in-state family member.

• The Eating Disorder Foundation of Orange County provides resources for teen eating disorder prevention, as well as links to other resources.

National Eating DIsorder Associations

There are several national eating disorder associations:

• The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is dedicated to supporting people and families in the United States who are affected by eating disorders. It also works to help prevent eating disorders and to secure proper care for those who suffer from them .The organization, which was founded in 2001 through the joining of the Eating Disorders Awareness & Prevention organization with the American Anorexia Bulimia Association (AABA),, sponsors an annual conference and runs a toll-free helpline.

• Natiional Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) sponsors a helpline, a forum, support groups, a resource to help people find treatment options, and provides other support for individuals and families affected by eating disorders. It grew out of support group founded in the 1970s. With an official start date of 1976, it claims to be the oldest organization for eating disorders.

• The National Eating Disorders Information Centre (NEDIC), a Canadian organization founded in 1985, provides resources and information to do with eating disorders to the general public. It also provides information about related issues, such as preoccupation with food and/or weight. The organization also staffs a helpline and provides workshops and presentations.

• In the UK, Beating Eating Disorders, also known as Eating Disorders Association, is a charity for those with eating disorders and families affected by the disorder as well. It provides support particularly for those with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. It also provides professional resources and publications and events.

International Eating Disorder Associations

There are several international organizations focused on eating disorders.

• There is an International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP), founded in 1985 and focused on providing certification for those who wish to have a special credential for working with clients with eating disorders in a therapeutic setting.

• Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) is a global professional organization that provides professional training, research impetus, educationall information about eating disorders, a yearly international conference, and the International Journal of Eating Disorders (IJED).


Related Article: Treatment for Eating Disorders >>