By the numbers, eating disorders represent the most deadly mental illness in the country. 4% of the population, roughly 30 million people, have this mental illness and if you are diagnosed with anorexia in your 20s then statistically your mortality rate jumps to 18x the average.
The “Just Eat” campaign seeks to bring awareness to a problem that effects both men and women and receives far less attention than it should. In Director and Producer Laura Kezman’s own words:
This film started four years ago, approximately three days after I mustered up the courage to Google “anorexia” for the first time. I had been diagnosed with the illness four years prior, but the name alone carried with it the secrecy and fear that clouded my ability to see the societal significance of my story. I had no idea I was one of millions. Or that getting proper help is hard for nearly everyone with an eating disorder. Or that there are people actively trying to change all of that at the federal level, driven by their own brushes with death or loss of loved ones.
The fear turned into a responsibility I couldn’t walk away from as the magnitude of this story unfolded. Why was no one talking about this?
I no longer viewed my experience with anorexia as a traumatizing experience from my past, but as a filmmaker with an important story to tell.
By replacing the ill-informed idea that eating disorders exist solely on the covers of fashion magazines with the pressing issues of insurance denials and federal oversight, the way we talk about them will change. No other film has done this.
My story is no longer about me. It is merely one of countless instances demanding representation.
Chances are, you know someone who’s been affected by an eating disorder and you may have experienced it yourself. If so, give Just Eat’s Indigogo a look and help them get this documentary made. This is a health issue that’s truly taking lives. More treatment and attention is needed and you can help.