4 Things You Can Do to Act as an Eating Disorder Advocate

By: Stephani Fenkanyn, Health Educator at BANA


Based on available data from 2016, it is estimated that over 1 million Canadians have a diagnosable eating disorder (4). However, based on global data of individuals affected, it is estimated that 2.7 million people in Canada have an eating disorder (1,2).

With such a high prevalence, most people have been impacted by an eating disorder in some way. Furthermore, given the disparity between those affected and the money allocated to this area of mental health, we know more funds are needed to serve individuals in need of specialized and quality care within our country. You are already being a great advocate by educating yourself and learning more about eating disorders, but you may be asking yourself: What else can I do? How can I help in moving the needle and gain momentum in the fight against eating disorders?

Here are 4 things you can do during EDAW, and beyond, to advocate for eating disorder services:

  1. Spread information & start a conversation

Share information and resources including accurate facts about this mental illness and its impacts on Canadians of all sizes, races, ethnicities and genders. You can tell a friend, re-share BANA’s educational posts on your own social media, or perhaps do some research and write a blog or article for others to read. Information is power and the more people who have awareness of the financial, emotional, physical, and/or social impacts of an eating disorder, the better the outcomes for change.

  1. Donate your time or money

A little bit can go a long way. Volunteer for a local eating disorder organization or use your money to support the cause. Challenge a friend to do so too!

  1. Listen and learn from those with lived experiences

We can learn a lot from the experiences of those who have intimately experienced the challenges of an eating disorder. This helps in understanding eating disorders in more detail and encourages learning of the unique experiences of those often neglected in mainstream portrayals such as those of marginalized groups, underserved communities, individuals in larger bodies, men and nonbinary folks.


  1. Bring attention to existing services and supports nationally and/or locally

By promoting services in our communities, we can increase awareness of supports for when people need them most. Bring a local organization to the attention of friends, co-workers, or family. Check out www.nedic.ca for a list of national services throughout Canada.


  1. org/get-informed/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
  2. Galmiche et al. (2019)
  3. ca/blog/2020/1/27/rise-up-advocacy-amp-eating-disorders-awareness-week-edaw
  4. Statistics Canada, 2016

d satisfied, like you’ve just fed your soul.