Emotional Overeating Awareness Month takes place in April. Emotional overeating is an eating disorder where a person uses food to deal with negative emotions such as anger and sadness, getting an abrupt compulsion to eat whenever they are confronted by such feelings. Because of its relation to food, this disorder is a leading cause of obesity in the United States today. Emotional Overeating Awareness Month provides the opportunity to raise consciousness about the dangers posed by emotional overeating and suggests healthy ways people can cope with stress, negativity, and other negative feelings.
History of Emotional Overeating Awareness Month
Eating disorders are not new news, they have been on the scene since the Middle Ages, with family and friends holding interventions for victims, and probably before then. They have proven to be quite common. Over the years, several nonprofit organizations have been put in place to help people with emotional overeating disorders.
In January 1960, a program called Overeaters Anonymous (O.A.) was founded for people with compulsive overeating and other eating disorders. The program gained a membership of over 60,000 people. The program launched its book taking inspiration from the twelve steps and “Twelve Traditions” literary piece, with the first step of the program being admission over lack of control over food. The average weight loss witnessed by participants was found to be 21.8 pounds. Survey results demonstrated that 90% of O.A. responded that they improved positively.
The now leading nonprofit organization created to deal with eating disorders is The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), which was established in 2001 through the merger of two other organizations. Through outreach, education, and advocacy, NEDA made great efforts to increase awareness, proper diagnosis, and treatment of eating disorders. They strive to educate people about their eating disorders and help them find access to proper care.
Emotional Overeating Awareness Month was started to spread awareness about emotional overeating disorder, help people cope with stress in healthier ways, and provide support for people who need it.
Emotional Overeating Awareness Month timeline
Family and friends try to help people with eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa is the first eating disorder to be categorized.
Intervention Programs such as Overeaters Anonymous start to help tackle eating disorders.
The leading nonprofit organization for tackling eating disorders emerges.
Emotional Overeating Awareness Month FAQs
What is a food diary?
A food diary is a daily log of what you eat and drink each day that helps you and your doctor understand your eating habits.
Why does comfort food make us happy?
Eating comfort foods releases feel-good hormones that stimulate the part of our brain responsible for joy.
How to know if I am an emotional eater?
Check if you feel an urgent need to eat, if you eat a larger amount of food than usual, and if you prefer a specific type of food.
How to Observe Emotional Overeating Awareness Month
Help create awareness about emotional overeating
You can share useful information about emotional overeating on social media and with people around you. You can also print posters of the event and pass them around to people in your neighborhood.
Pay attention to yourself and the people around you
A lot of emotional overeating starts as an unconscious habit. By simply paying attention to what is going on with yourself and the people in your home, you can help reduce overeating occurrences.
Visit a nutritionist
A nutritionist or registered dietitian can help tell if you are on a proper diet. They can also help identify unhealthy calorie intake levels and recommend ways to fix that.
5 Interesting Facts About Emotional Overeating
Stress and overeating
About 40% of people tend to eat more when stressed.
Comfort foods are high-calorie food
Comfort food that emotional eaters crave, such as ice cream, chocolate, and cookies, is high in calories.
Weight gain or loss
Depending on the situation, stress can result in eating habits that may lead to weight gain or weight loss.
Depression can lead to emotional eating
Statistics show that people sometimes use emotional eating to cope with depression.
Emotional overeating over a long period leads to obesity.
Why Emotional Overeating Awareness Month is Important
It raises awareness
We get to provide useful information about this eating disorder to the public. Hence, we can encourage everyone to pay more attention to how their mental health may affect their eating habits.
It encourages healthy ways to deal with stress
This is an opportunity to share other alternatives to coping with stress with people. We also have the opportunity to show our concern to those who emotionally overeat.
It highlights the need for nutritionists
This holiday provides an opportunity for people to realize the need for nutritionists in planning and living healthy lives. By participating, we motivate people to visit nutritionists and check their diets.
Emotional Overeating Awareness Month dates