Katie Couric's Notebook: Eating Disorders

Hi, everyone.

This is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week...and for good reason.

At least eight million Americans suffer from anorexia or bulimia--diseases with the highest mortality rates of ANY mental illness. TWENTY PERCENT of people with anorexia will die prematurely as a result of it.

95% of those with eating disorders are between 12 and 25. So why are young people killing themselves to be thin?

Scientists are still learning about the biological causes...but we DO know that social and emotional factors can contribute: from low self-esteem...to feelings of powerlessness...to a culture that's obsessed with the perfect body.

We ALSO know that eating disorders affect minorities, and men.

And it's important for fathers not to comment on their daughters' bodies, and for mothers not to obsess about their diets. Grownups: you can have a bigger impact than you realize.

That's a page from my notebook.