DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - February 16, 2011) - An estimated five percent of Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 20-26), Eating Recovery Center (, a national center for eating disorders recovery, encourages people to be aware of behaviors and actions that could increase the risk of a loved one developing an eating disorder.

"Because eating disorders are genetic, an individual who has a family history is much more likely to be sensitive to others' words and actions surrounding food and body image," said Kenneth L. Weiner, MD, FAED, CEDS, chief executive officer and founding partner of Eating Recovery Center. "It's important for families to talk about these deadly diseases and avoid behaviors and actions that could act as eating disorder triggers."

Eating Recovery Center urges families to be aware of these five seemingly harmless behaviors and actions, which could increase the risk a child or loved one developing an eating disorder:

1. The use of food as a reward or a punishment. When parents use food as a reward or punishment, it can teach their child to turn to food for comfort, tie emotions to eating and permanently affect a child's relationship with food.

2. The comments you make about your appearance or the appearances of others. Negative remarks about your own appearance or body type, or disparaging comments about the appearances of others, can have a profound effect on a young child, a teenager or even a friend of yours. Keep remarks encouraging to foster an environment of positive self-esteem and body image.

3. Labeling foods as "good" or "bad" foods. It is important not to list types of foods or entire food groups as "good" or "bad" because of their fat content, nutritional value, sodium amounts or otherwise. Eating healthy is all about moderation.

4. Dieting. Not only does dieting keep people from listening to what their bodies need, 95 percent of individuals who go on a diet actually put the weight back on in the next two or three years. Furthermore, for an individual who is genetically predisposed to an eating disorder, dieting can be a gateway to disordered eating behaviors.

5. Ignoring genetics. An individual with an immediate family member who had anorexia nervosa is 12 times more likely to develop the disease; and four times more likely to develop bulimia nervosa. Individuals with a family history should be especially vigilant of disordered eating behaviors if their loved one is involved in sports -- especially those with a focus on weight management such as ballet, gymnastics or wrestling.

For more information about National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, or to learn why the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) urges individuals to talk about these deadly diseases, visit

Join Eating Recovery Center at these events, both locally in Colorado and nationally, during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week:

  • An annual candlelight vigil honoring those who have passed away from eating disorders, in conjunction with The Eating Disorder Foundation, Thursday, February 24, 6:30 p.m., Wellshire Event Center, Denver, Colo.
  • Mind and Body Fair, hosted by the University of Northern Colorado's Women's Resource Center, Monday, February 21, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Greeley, Colo.
  • Stop by Eating Recovery Center's lobby to see patient artwork exhibited throughout the week, 1830 Franklin Street, Denver, Colo.
  • Dr. Emmett R. Bishop Jr., FAED, CEDS, co-founder and medical director of adult services of the Center will present to eating disorders specialists, Friday, February 25, Austin, Texas.
  • "Be Comfortable in Your Genes" fashion show and silent auction benefitting NORMAL In Schools' gala, INSIDE OUT!, Saturday, February 26, 5:30 p.m., Milwaukee, Wis.
  • National Eating Disorders Association Walk, hosted by The Eating Disorders Network of Central Florida, Sunday, February 20, registration at 9 a.m., walk at 10 a.m., Orlando, Fla.
  • "The Forum - a Panel of Recovery" event, presented by the Multiservice Eating Disorder Association, Tuesday, February 22, Framingham, Mass.

Editor: Nationally recognized eating disorders experts, Kenneth L. Weiner, MD, FAED, CEDS, Emmett R. Bishop, Jr., MD, FAED, CEDS, Ovidio Bermudez, MD, FAAP, FSAHM, FAED, CEDS, and Craig Johnson, PhD, FAED, CEDS, along with patients in recovery, are available for interviews to supplement your National Eating Disorders Awareness Week stories. Contact Shannon Fern or Molly Koch at 303.433.7020 or or to arrange an interview.

About Eating Recovery Center
Eating Recovery Center is a national center for eating disorders recovery providing comprehensive treatment for anorexia and bulimia. Denver-based facilities include a licensed behavioral hospital treating adults, an outpatient office and a licensed behavioral hospital treating children and adolescents. Under the personal guidance and care of Drs. Kenneth Weiner and Emmett Bishop, and the newest additions to our leadership team -- Drs. Craig Johnson and Ovidio Bermudez, our collaborative programs provide a full spectrum of services for children, adolescents and adults. Our integrated program offers patients from across the country a continuum of care that includes inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient services. Our compassionate team of professionals collaborates with treating professionals and loved ones to cultivate lasting behavioral change. For more information please contact us at 877-218-1344 or or confidentially chat live on our website at

Contact Information:

Shannon Fern