Eating Concerns Awareness Week is a national campaign through NEDA, the National Eating Disorder Association. UNH’s Eating Concerns Mentors (ECMs) will be hosting events from February 21-27, 2016, in order to raise awareness about eating concerns at UNH.
ECMs: Eating Concerns Mentors: trained UNH students who work with Health Services to provide support around body image, eating disorders, and eating concerns. The program is also for students concerned about a friend or family member.
Emily Berman, a junior double major in Social Work and Women’s Studies, is an Eating Concerns Mentor. She states, “Our role on campus is to spread awareness of eating concerns and to stress the importance of body positivity. We do both one-on-one mentoring with students with eating concerns, and facilitate programs for various dorms and clubs to spread our message.”
Jodie Shrier, a junior Therapeutic Recreation major and an Eating Concerns Mentor, remarks on why she chose to become a mentor here at UNH, “I joined ECM because I learned the hard way that eating disorders can impact anyone. I wanted to bring more awareness to the campus and help educate my peers on how to help someone in their lives that might be struggling.”
As Jodie mentioned, eating disorders do not discriminate. Anyone can suffer, and in the US over 30 million people do suffer, not counting those who remain silent.
Maria Caplan (MS, RD, CSSD, LD) is a Nutrition Educator/Counselor at UNH Health Services. Maria says that “BED (Binge Eating Disorder) is the most common, following that is Bulimia and Anorexia. Many students have eating concerns—which is an undiagnosed disorder around food or body image.”
As Wildcats, we look out for one another. Some warning signs Maria says to watch out for in a friend include: “a large amount of weight loss in a small amount of time, going to the bathroom right after meals, no longer eating in front of anyone, and constantly making statements about being fat, but they are not.” If these signs are apparent in a friend, please refer them to Health Services or the Counseling Center.
EVENTS during UNH Eating Concerns Awareness Week:
- Destress/Calming Station 12:30 – 1:30pm on Tuesday, 2/23 @ Health Services
- How to Help a Friend with an Eating Disorder 12:30 – 1:30pm on Wednesday, 2/24 @ Health Services
- Co-sponsoring with APO fraternity: Showing of Millstone, a documentary aimed to raise awareness on men’s eating concerns, @ 7:00pm on Wednesday 2/24
DISPLAYS during UNH Eating Concerns Awareness Week:
- “Love the GENES You’re In” – Clothesline Exhibit @ Campus Recreation
Food POSITIVITY signage @ HOCO
Life-sized Barbie Doll @ Dimond Library
- “Lose your weight lies donation bin” @ MUB Union Court
UNH Resources for Eating Concerns and Body Image:
- Request an Eating Concerns Mentor
- What are eating disorders?
- Body image
- Register for the Body Project
- Mindful eating
- The non-diet approach
- Helping a friend