Eating disorder experts often express frustration at the lack of awareness and understanding about the serious nature of the diseases among the general public. Many people still mistakenly believe that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice, one preferred by those who are vain or fussy about their appearance.
As discussed on ABCNews, there is clear evidence that there are still many people who do not understand the seriousness of eating disorders. A costume displayed on a costume vendor’s site, Ricky’s, depicts a woman dressed as "Anna Rexia," complete with skeletal details.
The costume, says experts, pokes fun at a very serious eating disorder. More individuals die from anorexia than any other mental disorder including depression. It is a devastating disorder, with many suffering multiple physical ailments as a result of malnutrition.
Those who are diagnosed with anorexia have a difficult challenge in seeking recovery. Many who complete treatment cycle between treatment and relapse several times with little success or improvement in their condition.
Ricky’s has apparently pulled the costume from its shelves, but the article reports that the costume has been available from retailers since at least 2009. And in Great Britain, it seems to be readily available. On certain websites, there are disclaimers about the coloring of the costume, but no apologies for the offensiveness of the costume itself.