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March 3, 2012   

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week or NEDAW.  Flyers have been put up, events have been scheduled, and awareness has been raised about eating disorders and bulimia, diseases that often go unnoticed. 

My good friend Perry Ryan ’14 is the maestro behind NEDAW at Hamilton.  She has been very open about suffering from an eating disorder.  Her commitment to eating disorder awareness stems from her desire to prevent people from falling prey to the often-fatal disease.

Eating disorders inflict every genre of person from the teenage girl whose main goal is to look thin and pretty to the male varsity athlete.  “Everyone knows somebody” is a general theme of the week.  The guy or girl you sit next to in English could have an eating disorder and you would never know.   

On Wednesday, the producer of “America the Beautiful” came to show his film and answer questions from the audience.  The film documented the producer as he tried a vegan-based diet and highlighted that the medical Body Mass Index (BMI) people swear by is not accurate.  By that scale, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, and Matt Damon are all overweight.  There is a definite contradiction here that I do not need to point out. 

Perry has raised about $10,000 in financial support from sponsors in the Hamilton Community.  This feat is not only spectacular but also symbolic of Hamilton’s commitment to raising awareness.  Hamilton is a competitive school in which students can become very stressed.  Eating disorders are all about control and isolating oneself from society.  Hamilton’s NEDAW has been great in letting students suffering from eating disorders know that they are not alone.