By: Megan Marron, Staff Writer
In the United States alone, approximately 30 million people will suffer from an eating disorder within their lifetime.
Because eating disorders don’t affect any single group, those who suffer will be of all genders, races, ages and social statuses. Due to the overwhelming pervasiveness of eating disorders, National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Week has taken place for the past 29 years.
This year’s awareness week, spearheaded by the National Eating Disorders Association, will run from Feb. 26 – March 4.
According to NEDA’s website, the purpose of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need.
“NEDawareness week is so important because it brings forward such an important topic,” Rebekka Carpenter, a junior historical communications and art and visual culture dual major and eating disorder survivor said. “It lets people know there are people who care about them and want to help them.”
With the increased anxiety and pressure of moving away from home and starting a new type of school, college students are extremely susceptible to developing eating disorders. According to the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, 20% of college students said that they had or had previously had an eating disorder.
Lebanon Valley College’s office of Counseling Services held body image screenings on Tuesday Feb. 28, in an effort to raise the level of awareness surrounding eating disorders and body image issues.
“In the past we have done an eating disorder awareness fashion show,” James Willey, a 50/50 peer helper, said. “This year we decided to hold screenings because we understand that, with the stress that comes with college, students can kind of slip in to an eating disorder.”
Willey also urges students that need assistance surrounding stress and body image to speak to one of the 50/50 peer helpers or even one of the counselors in Shroyer Health Center for more serious troubles.
Counseling Services can be contacted at 717-867-6232 and the 50/50 Peer Helpers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.