National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

February 23-March 1 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This week has been set aside by the National Eating Disorders Association to promote awareness of eating disorders in the media and the general public, and to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for eating disorders. Every day this week The Counseling Center will be posting information about eating disorders.

Today we want you to know:

Eating Disorders are Serious Illnesses, not Lifestyle Choices

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, biological and social factors. As our natural body size and shape is largely determined by genetics, fighting our natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and decreased self-esteem. Body dissatisfaction and thin ideal internalization are both significant risk factors for the development of eating disorder behaviors like restricting and binge eating. While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are about much more than food. Recent research has shown that genetic factors create vulnerabilities that place individuals at risk for acting on cultural pressures and using food to feel in control or manage overwhelming emotions.

In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED).

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you are not alone!  The Counseling Center has free, confidential counseling available to all currently enrolled Stetson students.  To make an appointment, call (386) 822-8900.  You can also take a confidential eating disorder screening by going to the resources section of our website.  Also, a counselor is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is accessible by calling Public Safety at (386) 822-7300.

Information taken from www.nedawareness.org