National Eating Disorder Awareness Week: Milton Teacher Uses Personal Experience To Educate Teens About Eating Disorder Issue

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald March 01, 04:11 am

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and a man from Milton, who is also a teacher, is using the time to disseminate more information about the issue. The teacher, who lost his daughter to an eating disorder, uses his own personal experience to inform teenagers and help other kids who might be undergoing the same situation.

The National Eating Disorders Association said in a statement that in the United States alone, 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder at one point in their lives. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders also said 11 percent of high school students are suffering from an eating disorder, Northern California News reported.

Michael Dorn, a math teacher, wanted to help in every way he can in order to let children know more about the growing issue. Dorn, who teaches at Milton High School, recently gave a talk to the freshmen students about eating disorders and what are the signs they should watch out for. He noted eating disorders are not just cases in movies or stories as they happen to real people and the consequences are also real.

"Eating disorders are real," Dorn shared. "They are something that can be recovered from but they are also dangerous and not something to be taken lightly."

Dorn had a daughter named Maria and she battled anorexia for three years. The eating disorder started when she was a freshman. Dorn said that age is where people need to get through to students in order to help them if they encounter such problems. He also added these people can be the eyes and the ears so that teens will be able to get help from someone, Channel reported.

Dorn also said teens in high school tend to think a lot about themselves but being more observant in their surroundings and what is going on could help others teens who exhibit symptoms of having an eating disorder. As for his daughter, he said he misses her a lot and the talks he gives is a way for him to prevent other people from dying due to an eating disorder. He also said the main goal in doing talks about eating disorder is to affect one's life in a positive way.

Dorn and his wife also created an organization to honor their daughter. They are working with Janesville Mobilizing for Change. 

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