Love Your Body Month: February 2021
Eating disorders affect at least 30 million people in the U.S. and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. But it can sometimes be difficult to identify an eating disorder because symptoms do not all present the same way, and those who are struggling could be any body type, age, gender, orientation, or ethnicity.
Anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorders are some of the most common forms of this illness, but there are other types of disordered eating. Obsession with food, body weight, and shape are signals of an eating disorder, and many present alongside other mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse.
Like any mental health disorder, eating disorders are treatable and most people who suffer with one recover – but identification and early intervention are key to recovering before reaching a point of crisis.
“Early detection is very important for successful treatment. Student Health Promotion and campus partners (including students) can play an important role in helping young adults recognize and get help for eating disorders,” said Tammy Turner, Assistant Director of Student Wellness.
During February’s Love Your Body Month, the focus of #HealthyStateGSU, we’re encouraging all our partners to share information about the free anonymous screening, available to students, in order to be connected with support for eating disorders. While these screens are not diagnostic, they can let you know whether you or your loved one are at risk and should seek professional help. The screening site also provides an abundance of educational materials on mental health topics.
Data from one college over a 13-year period shows total eating disorders increased from 23 to 32 percent among females and from 7.9 to 25 percent among males. Other studies show that 35 percent of “normal” dieters progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20–25 percent progress to partial or full–syndrome eating disorders (Shisslak & Crago, 1995).
During February, you can help spread the word about eating disorders, and how those who may be struggling can find help. Follow BeWellGSU on Instagram and Twitter for messages to share related to the free and anonymous screening for disordered eating #MindWiseGSU