Eating disorders are more prevalent than you may realize. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, about 20 million women and 10 million men in the U.S. experience an eating disorder at some point in their lifetimes.
Since this is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Cut Video just released a YouTube video in which they asked people with eating disorders to respond to the phrase, "you don't look like you have an eating disorder."
It's a common response that people with eating disorders know all too well.
"It brings me back to the days when I came out to certain people and told them what I was doing," one woman said in the video. "To the ones who were not sympathetic, I kind of just felt like I came out to the wrong person."
People in the video called that familiar phrase "dangerous," "false" and "ignorant."
"Maybe if you're not a stick or you're not super, super tiny, that's what people associate with an eating disorder," another interviewee said in the video. "And that is definitely not the only body type that has an eating disorder."
There are many signs of having an eating disorder, including excessive weight changes, compulsive exercising and avoiding eating in front of others. However, there is the public perception that people with eating disorders only have one particular body type.
Ultimately, eating disorders can impact anyone. And the first step to a happier, healthier life is seeking help.
"Shame lives in shadows," one of the women explained. "Unless you talk about it, it doesn't get better. And you can hide all you want, but the only person you're hurting is yourself."