I am Marcy Forta EdD, MBA. My work is on eating disorder education, awareness, and prevention, focusing specifically on risk factors and prevention within the Jewish Orthodox Adolescent Community. I founded and created Atzmi, in order to support the mental health of Jewish girls through programs that improve their self-esteem and body acceptance.  I am based in Metro Detroit and am also a Body Project Facilitator and a Certified Holistic Nutritionist.

My doctoral research focused on community healthcare stakeholders descriptions of religious and environmental risk factors unique to the Jewish orthodox adolescent female community. Community healthcare stakeholders include rabbis, teachers, principals, mental and physical health professionals. These individuals, experienced working with the Jewish orthodox adolescent female population, have privileged and exclusive access and perspective due to shared religious observance and physical proximity.

My research was conducted over a period of several years and focused on the U.S. Midwest region. Whereas previous studies focused exclusively on the major Jewish communities of Israel and New York, no one to date had researched this demographic nor harnessed the insight of community healthcare stakeholders.

It is worth noting the underlying risk factors that can contribute to eating disorders and disordered eating also play a key contributing role to other mental health issues and illnesses. As such, my research, findings, and programs have broader applicability, as well.

There is long established evidence supporting prevention programs and their impact. However, the evidence also suggests that their efficacy is vastly improved when tailored to specific demographics. My research forms the basis of the eating disorder awareness, education, and prevention programs designed for this community.

For more information or study results, feel free to contact me.