Over the next 10 weeks, Philly.com will host Mouthful, a podcast that features dramatic monologues highlighting the experiences and perspectives of young Philadelphians. These monologues, which are performed by professional actors, are produced by Philly Young Playwrights and Yvonne Latty, director of the Reporting the Nation program at NYU's Carter Journalism Institute.

Eating disorders don't discriminate. They can happen to anyone.

Still, there is a harmful misconception that eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are limited to young white females. In truth, they can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity. In the United States alone, 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder at some time in their life. And incidence among women of color, in particular, is on the rise.

Yet like so many mental health issues, eating disorders are heavily stigmatized. People don't talk about them, perpetuating dangerous misconceptions about who is at risk and keeping people from seeking help.

On this episode of Mouthful, a weekly podcast that places young people at the center of important issues, we break open the stereotypes about eating disorders in conversations with:

  • Taytiana Velasquez-Rivera, a high school senior whose personal battle with an eating disorder inspired her to write "Comfort," an award-winning monologue featured in the 2016 Young Voices Monologue Festival
  • Dr. Samantha DeCaro, a clinical therapist at The Renfrew Center, the country's first residential eating disorder facility, founded in 1985, which now has 18 locations across the United States .