“One of the biggest problems with eating disorders is that when someone is thin, they get positive feedback about being thin so it is hard to get out of those behaviors” explains Jacaranda Palmateer, Director of Health Care Services at the Health Care Center
Eating disorders on college campuses
Eating disorders are invading collegecampuses, causing stress to theirstudents as well as posing as a majorhealth issue. According to MedicalNews, the medical definition of aneating disorder is a mental illnessthat cause serious disturbance in aperson’s everyday diet.
The three most common eatingdisorders are anorexia, bulimiaand binge eating disorder.
Anorexia is characterized by the intense fear of gainingweight, extreme dieting and a significant weight loss in a shortperiod of time.
Binge eating disorder andbulimia involve compulsiveeating and binging on calorierich food.
But with bulimia,there is the urge tocompensate bypurging, or gettingrid of the caloriesthrough exercise orother means.
In a survey done by the National Eating Disorder Association(NEDA) of 1,000 college students, both male and female, it wasfound that nearly 20 percent of participants said they either haveor have previously suffered from an eating disorder.
No matter whicheating disorder, itresults in a majorcontortion in bodyimage and selfworth.
“Since my eating disorder has been prevalent in my life, it’s been impossible for me tosee how others view me. When people view me as thin, I view myself as fat. Whenthey view me as beautiful, I view myself as ugly,” DU student Maggie Jones explains.Her name has been changed to protect her privacy.
“People with eating disorders feelvery ambivalent about changing”explains Jacaranda Palmateer,Director of Health Care Services atthe Health Care Center.
There have been manyefforts around DUcampus to spread eatingdisorder awarenessincluding Tri Delta’s FatTalk Free Week andEating DisorderAwareness Week.
With the highestmortality rate of anymental illness, it isimportant to take astand and raiseawareness. DUstudents participate inthe NEDA (NationalEating DisorderAwareness) annualEating Disorder Walk.
The Health Care Centerprovides therapy andinformation on how tolend your support if youknow someone who isstruggling. Contact formore information.