What’s eating you?

Have you ever had a friend with a possible eating disorder? Wellness Programs is introducing tools that may be able to help.

Wellness Programs will be setting up a table on Feb. 26 in order to help educate students on the dangers of eating disorders and the possible signs to look out for.

The concept was inspired by the National Eating Disorders Association’s annual program.

NEDA is a non-profit organization based in the United States that strives to support individuals and families affected by eating disorders.
Inspiring people all over the world, NEDA campaigns for “prevention, improved access to quality treatment and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders.”

They work with health care volunteers and professionals alike to raise awareness and reach out to those undiagnosed.

“We looked at different programs that were running during that week and as an area of healthy living I wanted to bring it to campus,” said Wellness Program’s Healthy Living Intern  senior Jennifer Shipley. “It’s a great way to learn information about an important issue.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “an eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to your everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating.”

Anorexia, binge-eating and other common eating disorders can be diagnosed as a psychological issue as well.

“Some people look at them more as a manifestation of underlying depression and anxiety. So yes, they’re considered to be a psychological problem,” said Julie Kuehnel, who has a doctorate in psychology. “Without the proper treatment, people can die from eating disorders.”

In addition to the psychological effects, eating disorders can be attributed  to forms of genetic, biological and social factors.

“Separation, family issues and other social factors can be the catalyst in some cases,” Kuehnel said.

The theme of this year’s NEDAwareness Week is “I Had No Idea,” inspired by the plan to educate more people about the dangers of eating disorders.

Although close to 30 million people suffer from different eating disorders, many people are still unaware of their impact, according to NEDA.

“It’s good to know that the Wellness Center is putting this program together,” sophomore Connor McKinney said. “Most people know someone who struggles with self-esteem issues related to weight, so hopefully people take it more seriously.”

With the information provided at this program, it is important to take the proper steps toward diagnosis.

“Along with coming to the table, make sure to consult a health professional because at the end of the day, they’re the only ones who can diagnose it,” Shipley said.

Along with the Wellness Program’s table, there will be other resources available to students.

“Counseling services will also have a table right next to ours for resources,” Shipley said.

For more information on NEDAwareness Week, visit the Wellness Program’s table on Feb. 26 at the flagpole. Wellness Programs will be there from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., so don’t miss your chance to get informed.

 

Sahal Farah
Staff Writer
Published Feb. 26, 2014