Do food and your weight control your life?
Does the number on your bathroom scale make or break your day? Is your preoccupation with food, weight and your shape affecting you from enjoying everyday activities “ classes, jobs or relationships? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be at risk for developing an eating disorder.
Many college students struggle with the way they look or how they feel about their bodies, with one out of three normal dieters progressing to pathological dieting. By recognizing the symptoms of eating disorders, and getting help, women and men can end their preoccupation with food and focus their efforts on developing healthy eating and exercise habits.
Feb. 21-27 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. As part of this national observance, Niagara University will be offering anonymous screenings online at www.mentalhealthscreening.org/ screening/niagarau. The questionnaires are confidential and provide immediate feedback as well as information on how to get help if needed.
While a single number on the scale never tells the whole story, for thousands of college students the daily struggle with the mirror or the scale heighten feelings of depression, isolation and low selfesteem, which can increase the likelihood of developing an eating disorder, says Dr. Nicki Moore, licensed psychologist and assistant athletics director for psychological resources and strategic planning at the University of Oklahoma.
Eating disorders can be successfully treated and often prevented when an individual seeks help in the early stages.
Year after year, data from the National Eating Disorders Screening Program program reveals that there is an increased need for education, awareness and screenings for eating disorders. In 2009, 17,000 screenings were completed online by college students across the country with nearly 60 percent of those screened scoring positive for symptoms of an eating disorder. Of those scoring likely, almost half said they would seek further evaluation
Facts about Eating Disorders:
'In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are struggling with an eating disorder.
'Almost 50 percent of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.
'Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
'91 percent of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting.