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(Phoenix, AZ) September 25, 2012 – Jolly. Lazy. No willpower. What image pops in your mind? You could be indulging in weight stigma by prejudging someone based on weight or body size. Weight stigma also involves bullying, shame and negative attitudes that often lead to eating disorders.

The goal of National Weight Stigma Awareness Week (September 24-28) is to increase awareness and prevent physical and mental health problems. According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), weight stigma is a common experience among those who struggle with binge eating disorder and it often interferes with treatment. The National Eating Disorder Association says as many as 10 million women and one million men suffer from eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.

“Those who are closest to us often contribute to weight stigma,” says Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Jan Hamilton. “Friends, family members, classmates, and coworkers may not realize how destructive their comments and behavior are. This can lead to body dissatisfaction, depression and eating disorders.”

Jan has treated numerous young people battling eating disorders. She is available for live or recorded interviews to address and discuss weight with friends and family in a healthy way, including:

  • Approach the subject with sensitivity
  • Encourage ongoing communication – be willing and available to hear the good, bad and ugly
  • Avoid blame
  • Be patient and compassionate
  • Be a healthy role model


 About Doorways LLC

Doorways LLC is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on adolescents, young adults and their families. Therapists at Doorways specialize in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide and more.  For more information, visit, or call 602-997-2880.