In the hopes of raising awareness of eating disorders, San Francisco 49ers’ chief strategy officer and executive vice president for football operations, Paraag Marathe, recently spoke out about the loss of his sister to the eating disorder anorexia.
Although anorexia has the highest mortality rate among mental illnesses, this grave disorder continues to be stigmatized, making it difficult for those struggling to connect to the help they need. In an effort to bring greater awareness to this devastating disease and shine a light on the consequences of this mental illness, Marathe has spoken about his sister’s death and her struggle with anorexia.
Raising Awareness of Eating Disorders
Many individuals dealing with mental illness, like anorexia, find the journey toward recovery complex and filled with many obstacles. The inaccessibility to and cost of treatment alone make it hard for a needing person to connect to the professional help and support that is needed for proper intervention and treatment.
In the case of Marathe and his sister, Shilpa, minorities may face even more difficulty in receiving the education and treatment necessary for overcoming these devastating disorders. Anorexia, for example, is often stereotyped as a disease of “vanity” that occurs mostly in young, white, adolescent females. But it is exactly this misinformation that prevents individuals who don’t fit this mold to break from the shame they feel.
The truth is that eating disorders do not discriminate and develop in susceptible individuals, regardless of their race, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, or gender. Continuing to challenge the stereotypes in the public eye is crucial to informing the general public of the reality of eating disorders and breaking the stigmas that prevent countless individuals from getting the help they need.
Working to Make a Difference
Since his sister’s death from anorexia, Marathe has been publicly speaking about eating disorders and serving as an advocate in the eating disorder community.
Serving on the board of directors for Andrea’s Voice, a nonprofit foundation that promotes education about eating disorders, Marathe has found a way to give a voice to his sister and the countless others who suffer in silence with these painful illnesses.
While there is a continued need for more work, advocacy, and awareness in the eating disorder community, taking the steps of courage as Marathe has done is a positive step in the direction of change.
About the Author:
Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.
As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her nutrition private practice.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 22, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com