This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. According to the information provided by the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, 15 percent of women ages 17 to 24 have an eating disorder and 20 percent of college students have or have had an eating disorder. Fifty-four percent of men are unhappy with their appearance, according to MEDA.
College can be a stressful time for students that can contribute to eating disorders due to factors like fear of the “freshman 15,” the nature of cafeteria food and difficulties adjusting to a new environment.
The Temple News encourages students to eat healthy and exercise to help maintain their physical and mental health. And if you are struggling with an eating disorder, we hope you find the strength to reach out to friends, family members or professionals for help, especially during this week.
As an option for those seeking help, Tuttleman Counseling Services offers an Eating and Body Image Concerns group counseling session on Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m., which is led by Dr. Lauren Napolitano, coordinator of Tuttleman’s Eating Disorders Unit.
For students struggling with body image, we urge them to focus on self-improvement rather than comparing themselves to societal ideals of beauty. Being healthy may not always look like the images we are bombarded in popular culture.
We call for students to respect their own bodies and to lift up others during this time in students’ lives when they may be more susceptible to body image issues and eating disorders.