Feb 23, 2010

Campaign against eating disorders begins this week

by Karissa Sechrist

The pursuit of the perfect image has left women feeling insecure, and many take up unhealthy habits in an effort to control their lives or conform to the desired Barbie-doll shape. It is estimated that 10 percent of college women suffer from an eating disorder.

This week marks the National Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign, an effort to put the issue of eating disorders in the public eye. The Student Care Center and the Women’s Ministry Department has organized an exhibit to help inform students of the problem and how to help their friends who may struggle with a disorder. The campaign and exhibit will culminate with the Women’s Health and Wellness Seminar Feb. 25.

“Most people have known someone who struggles with an eating disorder. This is a way to see how it relates to both male and female college students,” Life Skills Coordinator Janet Brown who will oversee the exhibit said.

The 10-minute, walk-through exhibit will follow the stages of an eating disorder. Brown explained that both men and women may develop eating disorders, and these may or may not be obvious in their daily habits.

Men who are involved in a sport with weight limits often feel pressure to keep their weight at a certain level to be competitive.
Women statistically suffer from eating disorders more often than men, and may do so for many reasons including issues with image, control and identity. If a woman feels that she is losing control of the events in her life, she may become overly controlling of her eating habits as a response.

The Student Care Center has organized several awareness campaigns throughout the year. This is the 2nd annual National Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign at Liberty.

Brown encourages students to refer friends in need to the Student Care Center. The center does not have licensed counselors, but can help students find counselors or mentors for various problems.

“It’s a process, not just something that happens overnight. You can talk to the individual, and see what is going on in his or her life. You can also talk to your RAs, for the purpose of care and showing love and concern for that student,” Brown said.

The exhibit, entitled “Expressions from the Inside Out,” will take place Feb. 23-25. The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the School of Religion, room 126.

Contact Karissa Sechrist at

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