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Eating disorders

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Buffalo: Eating disorders
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Nearly report 42 percent of first graders want to be thinner. Wanting to be thinner at that age could be a set up for problems with food and body image. YNN’s Marcie Fraser filed the following report.

"I had a mini stroke, a TIA. I was 25 years old," said Nichole Lewellyn.

Nichole Lewellyn's pain began when she was just ten years old. During her teenage years she was in and out of hospitals.

"I was suffering from anorexia mostly. I did have my periods of bulimia, but anorexia for 28 years," said Lewellyn.

Restricting food is a way for some people to gain control and manage stress and sometimes it's the result of a traumatic event.

"When I was ten years old I had a lot of sex abuse happen, some childhood trauma take place," said Lewellyn.

Anorexia has the highest death rate of any psychological disorder.

"My bones are weak. My hair was falling out. Permanent heart condition, they told me I shouldn't have children because of the damage I did to my body," said Lewellyn.

After seven in-patient hospitalizations and years of therapy, she's finally in recovery and she credits the National Eating Disorder Association or NEDA for her success. It's an organization which offers all sorts of support, education, and awareness.

"NEDA really helps me stay with where I need to be and stay on my toes, as far as motivating others and guide them to recovery. I don't know where I'd be with out NEDA," said Nichole Lewellyn, NEDA volunteer.

She now volunteers and is a lobbyist for NEDA. It's her way of giving back.

"I travel once a week to NYC at their main office and volunteer there and work. And, it is an amazing experience," said Lewellyn.

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