This week marks National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

More than 30 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder – something that kills one person every 60 minutes, giving it the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

Dr. Ovidio Bermudez, the chief clinical officer and medical director of child and adolescent services at the Eating Recovery Center, joined us on 9NEWS at Noon to talk about how to shatter the stigma around eating disorders, and helping those in need.

He reiterated that eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

He says symptoms include:

-Sudden, dramatic weight loss or constant weight fluctuation
-Constantly feeling cold – even in warm weather
-Negative self-talk, especially about one’s body
-Changes in mood and desire to interact with others socially
-Compulsive or excessive exercising
-Always engaging in conversation about food
-Avoiding certain foods they once loved
-Unusual behaviors at meal times – practicing food rituals or avoiding meals altogether
-Using the bathroom right after a meal, or other signs of physical signs purging (swollen cheeks, marks/scars on knuckles – a.k.a Russell’s sign)
-Evidence of hoarding food, empty food wrappers or containers, or the disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time

One way for people to get help is through the Eating Recovery Center in Denver. The Eating Recovery Foundation provides education and prevention programs.
More information can be found here: or by calling 1-855-863-3723.