SOURCE: National Eating Disorders Association

November 13, 2006 07:00 ET

National Eating Disorders Association Reacts to HBO Premiere of "Thin"

Documentary, Premiering Nov. 14, 'Lacks Balance'

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 13, 2006 -- The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) reacted today to the documentary "Thin," by Lauren Greenfield, which captures six months in the lives of four women, ages 15-30, striving to recover from anorexia in a residential treatment program.

NEDA representatives viewed the film in advance of its HBO premiere, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 9 p.m. Even before its initial airing, the merit of the film -- which remains in rotation through the end of the year -- was being debated on HBO message boards by women who battle eating disorders themselves, the burden of their illnesses apparent.

Acknowledging that Greenfield is a talented photographer and filmmaker, Lynn Grefe, CEO of NEDA, notes, "'Thin' accurately depicts the severity, sadness and complexity of eating disorders, while weaving in the devastating financial and emotional impact caused by insurance companies cutting off treatment.

"However," Grefe continued, "We felt that her lens needed a wider, more balanced focus and should have also included stories of those responding to treatment successfully. While we know that there are many challenges and setbacks along the road, with treatment most people do get well and there is hope. Unfortunately, that important message is missing in 'Thin,' which paints a very one-sided, grim portrayal of treatment and recovery."

Eating disorders are serious illnesses with a biological basis modified and influenced by emotional and cultural factors. Nearly 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life-and-death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in Seattle, Wash., is a not-for-profit organization advocating for prevention, treatment and research funding for eating disorders; expanding public education and awareness; promoting access to quality treatment for those affected; and providing support for their loved ones. Since the inception of its Helpline in 1999, NEDA has referred more than 50,000 people to treatment and tallies more than 40 million hits annually on its Web site.

For treatment referrals, visit

Or contact NEDA's live Helpline: 800-931-2237

Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (PST)

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