We’ve carefully selected these videos because they’re actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their viewers with personal stories and high-quality information. Nominate your favorite video by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Approximately 30 million people in the United States are currently living with anorexia, bulimia, or a related eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
These conditions typically affect people in their teens and 20s. But cases have been reported in children younger than 13 years old and men and women well into their 60s and beyond. And these are just the ones who reported their eating disorder.
Recovery is attainable for many with proper treatment. Healing is often a lifelong journey. We’ve rounded up some of the internet’s most revealing, informative, and heartwarming videos about eating disorders from the people who understand them best.
This artistic BuzzFeed video puts a unique spin on what life is like with an eating disorder through interpretive dance and powerful words. It also explores the motivation behind these disorders — often the desire to have control over something — but emphasizes how the disorder will control the person with time.
The video encourages people with an eating disorder to use certain personality traits and behaviors to create something powerful and beautiful in their lives.
Shaming. Hurtful. Lazy. Storytelling company Cut set out to ask people who’ve lived with an eating disorder to respond to the word “fat.” The outcome was eye-opening and emotional. Though the video is just under three minutes, the impact seems everlasting. It’s sure to alter everyone’s perception and use of the word.
BBC Newsbeat’s mini-documentary styled video takes viewers into the world of a young man named Charles who’s living with anorexia. Cameras follow his journey of undergoing treatment for almost two years at a London hospital as he attempts to meet his target weight.
Often mislabeled as a “women’s disease,” Charles’ story sheds much needed light on men living with eating disorders. It also looks at the challenges that come with sometimes being the only male in treatment.
Actress, singer, author, and YouTube sensation Carrie Hope Fletcher takes to social media to talk about body shaming. A recent target of hurtful online comments insinuated she’d perform better in her acting role if only she were thinner. Fletcher takes a stand. She reminds everyone this behavior isn’t alright. It can do irreparable damage, especially to young men and women.
Fixers is a U.K. organization that chronicles young people who are using their past to fix the future. In this video, they team up with Jo Thompson to take a deeper look at eating disorders’ impact on an entire family.
Thompson recalls her journey starting at age 11. She shares how she spent years in a hospital being force-fed. At times, she was only given 48 hours to live. In a dramatic turnaround, viewers learn what inspired her to push forward and get to where she is today: a mom and soon to be midwife.
Kati Morton, LMFT, speaks directly to the family and loved ones of people with an eating disorder. She offers helpful suggestions and tips on how to educate yourself properly about the disorder, what supporting someone looks like, and how to help them find treatment options.
There’s even a segment on what the term “recovery” means. It’s not a black-and-white resolution, but rather a lifelong journey of healing.
Alexa Petropoulos offers TEDx viewers a glimpse into the world of eating disorders from the viewpoint of a teenager. In addition to school and social pressures, Petropoulos becomes fixated on models and women in magazines. She eventually tries to focus on a new hobby, cross-country running.
Despite her love for the sport, she’s still unhappy with her appearance … until the day she picks up a camera and fulfills her dream of becoming a photographer. In time, Petropoulos realizes that while photographs show almost every flaw, the beauty within each person surpasses any imperfection.
“My head keeps telling me, ‘pretty girls don’t eat.'” This eye-opening BuzzFeed video takes a closer look at anorexia through the eyes of the Whisper App. The app is a safe place for people to share stories and confessions anonymously. From people who are currently living with an eating disorder to people in recovery, the stories are shocking, heartbreaking, and brutally honest.
Project UROK is an initiative of the nonprofit Child Mind Institute. They create meaningful videos for teens living with mental health issues. In this video, Project UROK teams up with singer and rapper Kitty (@kittaveli). She shares her personal experience of being in the spotlight at a young age and dealing with anorexia and bulimia.
Now in recovery, Kitty discusses how her goal today is to spread positive messages about self-love and self-worth with others through her music.
High-profile corporate finance lawyer Su-Mei Thompson left her career to become CEO of The Women’s Foundation, a nonprofit in Hong Kong, to make a radical change in the lives of women.
In this TEDx Talk, Thompson speaks to the issue of the media altering the vision of “normal” when it comes to a healthy weight for women. With preteens and teens being influenced through messages from the media, Thompson explores how this unhealthy obsession will affect future generations.
Storyteller Lauren Bagwell takes spoken word poetry to the next level in this riveting TEDx Talk about receiving a diagnosis of binge eating disorder while a freshman at college. Bagwell weaves a crucial message throughout her poem: Experiencing love in life starts with loving ourselves and acknowledging how we talk to and treat ourselves each day.
The National Eating Disorders Association and Reasons Eating Disorder Center are behind the Marginalized Voices campaign. Their campaign explores the myths often believed about eating disorders. It sheds much needed light on how different races and ethnicities are often left out from the conversation, impeding treatment.
“The stereotypical sufferer of an eating disorder is usually a white, thin, straight, able-bodied woman,” explains one participant in the video, highlighting how excluding others dealing with these disorders hinders awareness.
Champion Magazine explores the life of star long-distance runner Megan O’Grady and how binging and purging almost destroyed her athletic career. Promoted by the NCAA, the video also takes a closer look at the relationship between a college athlete and coach and how one’s coaching style can have an effect on athletes.
After treatment, O’Grady returns to running. She not only scores a first-place win, but becomes a catalyst that fosters major change in her coach’s life.
This catchy and educational whiteboard video produced by AsapSCIENCE and the Global Citizen movement takes you on a step-by-step journey of what happens to your body when you don’t eat.
All seems well for the first six hours. Then your body enters ketosis. And while ketosis is common for athletes or people on low-carb diets, not getting certain nutrients over a long period of time will begin to cause severe complications. In some cases, it can lead to death.
Filmmaker Jessie Kahnweiler teams up with Boldly, formerly BuzzFeedYellow, for this video. She shares her emotional story of nearly dying from an eating disorder yet being unaware she had one. Kahnweiler explores more of the psychological aspects surrounding these disorders. She states her reason to seek out treatment was discovering she wasn’t “bad, crazy, weird or alone.”
POPSUGAR Girls’ Guide explores the myths around eating disorders in this enlightening video. It highlights that anorexia and bulimia can happen to anyone. The video brings up studies showing that more than 50 percent of girls as young as 6 are “scared of getting fat.” The video asserts it’s time to increase awareness on this mental illness that “goes beyond just wanting to be skinny.”
Blogger and YouTube sensation Anna Saccone shares a heartfelt message about why she felt compelled to quit YouTube for a period of time. Saccone shares that she’s been dealing with an eating disorder since her teen. She became fixated on controlling her food and calories during her father’s cancer diagnosis.
While sharing her popular fitness videos and pictures online years later, Saccone was bombarded with body shaming comments and internet trolls. Her profound message is a wake-up call to the irreversible damage that can be done through these statements.
Sisters Kendall and Annalee share their struggles of anorexia and bulimia while offering viewers 10 insights on eating disorders. They explore the various psychological components that accompany eating disorders. Kendall and Annalee also discuss how an illness of this type is often triggered by a person wanting to have control over something in their life.
Marisa Zeppieri is a health and food journalist, chef, author, and founder of LupusChick.com and LupusChick 501c3. She resides in New York with her husband and rescued rat terrier. Follow her on Facebook and on Instagram @LupusChickOfficial.