DENVER - A half million teenagers are struggling with what to eat. It's not that they don't have access to food; they're afraid to eat because they think they'll get fat.
That number is startling: 500,000 American teenagers have an eating disorder, both boys and girls.
Eating disorders are not a fad. If left untreated, they can lead to serious, potentially life-threatening conditions.
Two Denver-area, 13-year-old girls wanted to address this with their peers.
Cameron Dreyer and Olivia Maloney wrote, filmed and produced a short film that depicts the effects of eating disorders on teens.
"You Are Beautiful" is a silent film. Even though words are not spoken during the 3:57 movie, it's message is loud and clear.
"We made this film because we love filmmaking, and we wanted to get the message out about eating disorders," Dreyer said. "It is a very sad problem in society today that shouldn't even be an issue."
"You are Beautiful" is getting a lot of attention and accolades. In November, it won first place in the Middle School Category at the My Hero International Film Festival.
The mission of the My Hero project is to use media and technology to empower people of all ages to realize their potential to effect positive change in the world.
"You Are Beautiful" also won the "Viewer's Choice" at the Colorful Colorado Film Festival for Youth in May.
"We hope teens see our film and are more aware of the dangerous and devastating effects of an eating disorder," Dreyer said.
To see the film, visit: http://bit.ly/1gjyR4Z.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, there is help locally.
Denver's four largest eating disorder clinics are ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders, Children's Hospital of Colorado, Eating Disorder Center of Denver and Eating Recovery Center. These facilities care for patients of both genders and of all ages:
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