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Miss America speaks on eating disorders

April 05, 2010|By Rachel Terrazas

Kirsten Haglund, who was crowned Miss America 2008 and is 22, will appear at a news conference at 11 a.m. Friday to talk about her teenage struggles with the anorexia nervosa.

Up to 10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, according to the National Eating Disorders Assn. The symptoms of anorexia include a fear of gaining weight or being seen as fat, or feeling fat despite dramatic weight losses, according to the association.

“Kirsten’s willingness to speak out is a huge piece,” said Robert Weiner, spokesman for event organizer CRC Health Group, a treatment provider for youth and adults struggling with behavioral issues. “Someone as well known and interesting as her to have this problem is a big help to bringing awareness.”

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Haglund, who hails from Farmington Hills, Mich., and lives in Los Angeles, will appear alongside her mother, Iora, and a panel of experts at the conference at the Turnip Rose, 1901 Newport Blvd. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House’s former drug czar, and Terri Thorfinnson, chief of California’s Office of Women’s Health, will be among the panelists.

The event, which is open to the public, will take place against the backdrop a daylong conference, whose theme is to raise awareness about the nation’s eating disorder crisis. The focus will be on anorexia and bulimia, not over-eating, Weiner said.


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