The Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association Speaks Out!

I received the following just now in my e-mail inbox:

In light of the recent controversy over the “Eat Less” Urban Outfitters womens t-shirt, MEDA sent the following response to Urban Outfitters demanding the item no longer be sold.

“To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is in response to Urban Outfitters’ “Eat Less V-neck tee” which is being sold online under the category “Women’s Tops/Tees/Graphic Tees & Tanks.”

On behalf of the 11 million individuals in the United States who struggle with Anorexia Nervosa and/or Bulimia Nervosa, as well as the 16.7 million children who live in food insecure households, we write this letter to express our extreme outrage.

The message on this shirt is insensitive and quite honestly undoes much of the excellent eating disorder prevention work that takes place in this country each day. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by caloric restriction, weight loss and obsessive thoughts around food, body and weight. For females ages 15-24 (a prime demographic of your clothing store), the mortality rate associated with Anorexia Nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate for all other causes of death. In fact, Anorexia Nervosa has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness.

The statistics above are not meant to scare you and by no means are we stating that the media is solely to blame for the increasing rates of Eating Disorders in our country. However, you have a responsibility as an organization that caters to a vulnerable population (teenage and young adult females) to think before choosing to sell a product like this. Would you ever sell a t-shirt with the words “Binge Drink More” or “Less Condoms”?

We ask that you stop selling this product immediately.”

Feedback and comments welcome!