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National Eating Disorders Association Launches Interactive Teen Website, Proud2Bme

10-18-2011 09:43 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: National Eating Disorders Association

/ PR Agency: Greenleaf & Associates
NEW YORK CITY — The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) announced the launch of an interactive teen website, Proud2Bme.org, during its ninth annual conference, held over the weekend in Los Angeles, Calif.

Proud2Bme is dedicated to promoting healthy attitudes about food, weight and body image, targeting teens and young adults. The site was built by JPMorgan Chase’s Technology for Social Good volunteer efforts and in collaboration with computer science students from the University of Delaware.

With the graphic design donation from JPMorgan Chase, the site provides youth with a positive, fun, interactive environment to learn, connect with others and take action for personal and social change—especially the many teens with body image issues or who have (or are at risk of developing) eating disorders. Through engaging content and community features, this unique online space offers news about entertainment, fashion, beauty and other relevant pop culture in a safe, age-appropriate environment. Additionally, there are forums and chat rooms where teens are able to interact and make new friends.

The site was unveiled during NEDA’s inaugural teen summit, Making Real the New Ideal: Body Image, Self-Esteem & Media. At the summit – with a goal of inspiring teens to learn to be leaders in their communities – attendees, ages 13-17, were asked to help identify top issues impacting them and their peers, relating to teen body image, self-esteem and eating disorders. Additionally, several teens are acting in an ongoing editorial advisory capacity to the site.

Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, “It’s high time we seriously listen to the concerns of teens—from issues of body confidence to their views of society and media. At our inaugural teen summit at NEDA’s annual conference over the weekend, we heard them! They spoke about the profound body image and self-esteem issues that affect them every day. It’s clear now more than ever that engaging teens is a crucial part of our mission. You will see their voices prominently reflected on Proud2Bme.org. We are grateful to JPMorgan Chase for their vision and support in making this new site possible.”

In addition to JPMorgan Chase’s support and leadership, the Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation, Globant (Argentina) and the University of Delaware also made generous contributions to Proud2Bme.

Proud2Bme is based on the successful Dutch site launched in May 2009 by Rivierduinen mental health medical center – which provided a free license and use of the domain name and other assets to NEDA, which will now direct the U.S. site. More than 2.5 million visitors from 149 countries have already visited Proud2Bme.nl.

“Our Technology for Social Good program aims to harness the strength and talent of skilled JPMorgan Chase technology staff through a wide range of volunteer opportunities,” said Frank Bisignano, chief administrative officer for JPMorgan Chase & Co. “By leveraging this program, we are able to share the technology talent and expertise of our company with nonprofit organizations like NEDA and, in the end, make a positive impact on the communities in which we live and operate in.”

Overseeing the launch and the site’s ongoing editorial content is Claire Mysko, an internationally recognized expert on body image, leadership and media literacy. She is the author of You're Amazing! A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self, an award-winning self-esteem manual for girls. Claire has also served as the director of the American Anorexia Bulimia Association and spearheaded the launch of such pioneering online communities at Girls Incorporated and SmartGirl.

Emily-Anne Rigal, 17, from Williamsburg, Va., is one of Proud2Bme’s teen contributors, the founder of WeStopHate.org, – a nonprofit program raising “teen-esteem” through online videos and social media – and served as a panelist at NEDA’s teen summit. Said Rigal, “Being a teen myself and someone who works daily with teens through my non-profit to boost confidence, I am thrilled about the launch of Proud2Bme! A teen-focused site on disordered eating, body image and media literacy is exactly what we need in today’s world. I have no doubt it will make a positive impact.”

U.S. Statistics on Eating Disorders: As many as 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. battle anorexia or bulimia. And as many as 13 million more struggle with binge eating disorder. Millions practice disordered eating due to an obsession with dieting ● Four out of 10 Americans either suffered or have known someone who has suffered from an eating disorder ● For females between fifteen to twenty-four years old who suffer from anorexia nervosa, the mortality rate associated with the illness is twelve times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death ● 40% of newly identified cases of anorexia are in girls 15-19 years old ● There was a significant increase in incidence of anorexia from 1935 to 1989 especially among young women 15-24 ● There has been a rise in incidence of anorexia in young women 15-19 in each decade since 1930 ● Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting and taking laxatives ● Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet ● 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner ● 81% of 10 –year-olds are afraid of being fat ● The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds ● Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women ● 46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets and 82% of their families are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

For Treatment Referrals, Visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org
Or Contact NEDA’s Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST)

Contacts:

Greenleaf & Associates — 323-660-5800
Vicki Greenleaf — vicki@greenleafandassociates.com
Karen Brundage — karen@greenleafandassociates.com

Available for Interviews:
• Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA.
• Claire Mysko, editorial director of Proud2Bme.
• Doctors, psychologists & other eating disorder treatment specialists throughout the country.
• Recovered eating disorder patients.
• Celebrity NEDA ambassadors.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org

National Eating Disorders Association
165 W. 46th St., #402
New York, NY 10036
Karen Brundage

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