RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Nearly 400 people took over Pullen Park for the 4th Annual Raleigh National Eating Disorders Association Walk.
Supporters put their feet the pavement to combat the stereotypes of a “perfect body”.
“We need everyone together to make a tremendous impact in this lethal illness,” explained Stacie McEntyre, one of the organizers and president of Veritas Collaborative, a sponsor of Saturday’s event.
Organizers said in North Carolina more than 300,000 people suffer from eating disorders.
Statistics show on average most people start developing the disorder in their teenager years, but experts say these illnesses can develop at any age, and that a person of any race, gender, and socioeconomic class can be affected.
The goal on Saturday was to debunk several myths and educate people on the severity of eating disorders.
“It is not a choice it is a severe psychiatric illness,” McEntyre said. “It lies at the intersection of behavioral health with major medical complications and it is devastating for families and patients.”
The annual walk raised $23,000, beating the $15,000 fundraising goal.
However, organizer say they hope the achieve the larger goal at hand which is to reach someone who may be suffering.
“Get help immediately, don’t delay access to care,” McEntyre advised. “Early access and early intervention at the right level makes a tremendous difference in the trajectory of this illness and can affect the prognosis lifelong so get help immediately. Talk to your pediatrician, talk to a dietician, call Veritas Collaborative and we’ll help connect you to the right resources.”
You can find more information about resources here.