It’s likely you’ve heard of eating disorders, but you might not know are the warning signs of these dangerous diseases. Eating disorders– predominantly anorexia and binge eating– are more prominent on college campuses than most people think.
Feb. 23- March 1 is Eating Disorder Awareness Week and WSU is hosting Health in a Weight Focused World on Feb. 24th at 7pm. This is part of the Health Monday series and will focus on promoting positive body image and healthy living through self-care and nutrition. The speaker for this event is from the Emily Program which serves as an outpatient eating disorder center, affiliated with the University of Minnesota.
Heading to college is a time full of transition—you’re interacting with new people, you’re responsible for yourself and you have to adapt to a new environment. While this time is fun and exciting, it is also a time of vulnerability. That’s what makes students more vulnerable to eating disorders as they enter into college.
This is a topic that hits close to home for me since one of my best friends developed anorexia during high school. Without knowing the warning signs, I didn’t even realize she had the disease until she had to be admitted into treatment. That’s why I believe that knowledge of these eating disorders is so incredibly important—it can mean the difference between catching it early and years of treatment, or even the difference between life and death.
So, what are the warning signs?
I want to make the point that these signs do not automatically mean that someone has an eating disorder. These are simply common signs among people who do have these illnesses. If you see these signs in a friend, talk to them gently and express your concern.
If you have an eating disorder, or suspect a friend of having an eating disorder, you can stop by Counseling & Wellness Services in the Integrated Wellness Center 222, or call 507-457-5330 to make an appointment. You can also find a lot of information and support at the National Eating Disorder Association website.