Everyone is thinking about it this Thanksgiving week. Not everyone is looking forward to it.
As many as 11 million people -- young and old, male and female -- suffer from eating disorders in this country.
Who knows how many Tri-Citians are carrying this burden?
One woman is trying to make a difference locally. Katie Klute has started the Tri-Cities Center for Eating Disorders.
So far, it's not much more than a website and some hopes for the future, but who knows? Lots of success stories start out in someone's basement or garage.
Her ultimate goal is to have a facility with medical and counseling staff.
As a recovered anorexic/bulemic, Klute wants to help others and feels like the first and most important step to healthy eating is talking about it.
It just so happens one place to start this conversation is Washington State University Tri-Cities. Its November art exhibit, "Skeleton in the Closet," features 20 portraits and personal statements from people who have traveled a similar path.
The display is presented by photographer Fritz Liedtke of Portland. It will be on display until Nov. 30. You can also see the gallery online at www.skeletoninthecloset.net.
Liedtke combined photographs and text to create a compelling narrative of life with an eating disorder. The exhibit explores the causes and the journey to be free of the affliction.
Of course, the best cure is prevention.
Eating disorders affect girls and women 10 times more often than boys and men. Body image and media portrayal of "perfect" are at the top of the targeted problems.
And perhaps rightfully so.
Young girls often are susceptible to sometimes subliminal, sometimes blatant messages.
As recently as last week, supermodel Kate Moss shared her insight on the matter when she said, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."
Even more dangerous is a growing trend of blog sites and message boards that promote a "pro-ana" (pro-anorexic) and "pro-mia" (pro-bulimia) movement that encourages this destructive behavior.
So where do we start? Klute is on the right track.
Talking openly about eating disorders shines some light on this harmful and sometimes deadly addiction.
Innocent "compliments" like, "You're so skinny," said to a struggling young woman just reinforces the idea that "skinny" equals "good" and "not skinny" equals "bad."
We need to stop linking a woman's appearance with her value or self-worth. And we need to start with our tweens and teens.
We should use terms like "healthy" and "happy," not "thin" or "skinny."
There is no perfect shape or size. Being skinny or fat doesn't make you a better or worse person, although both conditions can jeopardize your health.
Let's get the skeletons out of the closet.