Eating Disorders: Information

Good morning radiant Jumbos,

Today’s post is about something that, unfortunately, plagues far too many men and women – eating disorders.  Courtesy of the National Eating Disorder Association, here is some information on eating disorders.

In the United States, approximately 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder.  Most disturbingly, 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are already worried about their body image and “becoming fat.” 

So what is an eating disorder?

The term eating disorder includes anorexia nervosa, binge-eating, bulimia nervosa, and EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified.)  All eating disorders are characterized by a very unhealthy psychological relationship with food and a desire to be thin.  Anorexia is characterized by eating too little food.  Binge-eating is characterized by eating too much food and then feeling extreme guilt about it.  Bulimia is characterized by purging.  EDNOS covers other forms of disordered eating that does not fall under the above definition.  

If you are suffering from an eating disorder, or know someone who is, please seek help.  I understand that in today’s society there is enormous pressure to look a certain way, and our value and self worth is tied to our weight and appearance in a truly dangerous way.  But eating disorders are dangerous too – they have serious physical repercussions, including death.  

There are many resources on campus, including Counseling and Mental Health Services and Health Services.  Off campus, there are several nearby eating disorder treatment centers.  And online, the National Eating Disorder Association provides information and resources, and hotlines such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) provides a listening ear for all manner of concerns, not just suicidal ideation.

Please remember, you are so much more than your weight.  You are smart, you are talented, you are kind and compassionate.  You are beautiful inside and out.

 

“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved.  But you will not discover this until you stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself.” –Geneen Roth

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