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Display aims to reduce eating disorder cases on campus

Feb. 28, 2001

Study shows 1 in 4 college-aged women battle eating disorder

By AMY RUDY

Reporter

With one out of every four college women having an eating disorder, the Baylor Health Education and Wellness Department is hoping to lower that statistic on campus.

HEW is participating in National Eating Disorders Awareness Week through Friday and the department has set up a display called 'A Room with a View' in the Cub Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center to promote eating disorder awareness and available treatments.

'We decided to set up four different rooms that would show the progression of how an eating disorder can develop,' said Andrea King, student outreach coordinator for HEW. 'We wanted to reveal the power that images have over our lives and to show that most people don't have a realistic view of what their body should look like.'

King said that the last room is designed to provide hope to those who struggle with their body image.

Various quotes fill up the walls of the room, such as 'I will give myself the care and attention I need' to 'Whatever my weight today, I am a worthwhile person with valuable contributions to make to those around me.'

King said, 'There are many treatment options out there, and so much help is available. We wanted to show that people can overcome an eating disorder.'

Becky Maddox, an administrative assistant for HEW, said that many students have stopped by the display to express concerns about friends with eating disorders.

'A lot of people will stop by and ask questions. They will say they have a friend they are worried about, and we will refer them to Andrea King or to the counseling center for help,' Maddox said.

Maddox also said that the HEW department regularly sees a number of female students each week for help in overcoming an eating disorder.

'We hope more Baylor students will become aware of how it is a growing and very serious disease and that they will become more observant to how prevalent it is on campus,' Maddox said.

According to Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Inc., a non-profit national organization sponsoring the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, between 5 to 10 million adolescent girls and women, and 1 million boys and men struggle with eating disorders and borderline conditions.

To put these statistics into context, this number of people is triple the number of people living with AIDS (At least 664,921 people are living with AIDS, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report in 1998).