According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the United States, it is estimated that about five to 10 percent (about five to 10 million) of women struggle with eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. However, eating disorders are not solely a problem of women. About one percent (or one million) of men are also struggling with eating disorders, says the National Institute of Mental Health. Eating disorders are lifethreatening illness. Over an average personʼs lifetime, at least 50,000 individuals will die as a direct result of their eating disorder. Secretiveness and shame are associated with eating disorders, and therefore many cases probably go unreported. Just because a person isnʼt diagnosed with an eating disorder doesnʼt mean he/she has healthy eatinghabits and a healthy body image.
Many people struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinicaleating disorder attitudes and behaviors. For example, about 80 percent of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance. In order to help emphasize the importance of prevention when it comes to eating disorders, West Chester Universityʼs Counseling and Wellness Centers will be sponsoring “SELE BR8 UR BODY” week from April 4 to April 7. Numerous events will be going on during the week that will help celebrate the beauty of all different body types and body shapes and also teach students ways to love and take better care of our own bodies.
Some featured highlights that will take place during the week will be “Moving Through Emotional Eating,” a workshop that explores the relationship between emotions and eating habits whick, starts at 3:15 p.m. in Sykes Ballroom A on April 4th. “Seduce Me!” an interactive workshop aimed at examining media influence on body image, and it will take place at 12:00 p.m. in Sykes 209 on April 5. “Intuitive Eating,” which helps determine what type of eater you are, begins at 11:00 a.m. in Sykes 209 on April 6, and “Every Body Beautiful,” a mini-workshop on fully appreciating oneʼs bodyimage, starts at 2:00 p.m. in the Womenʼs Center, Lawrence Hall second floor on April 7. These are just a few of the events and workshops that will be taking place during “SELE BR8 UR BODY” week at both Sykes Union and the Womenʼs Center.
Be sure to check the schedule posted in Sykes to see which events and workshops you would be interested in attending. All of them promise to be great! Also, stop by Sykes and check out the “Love Your Body” photographs that were taken in Sykes on March 29 and 30 by WCU student Kyle Smith. The photographs of studentsʼ favorite body parts will be displayed in Sykes during “SELE BR8 UR BODY” week. The photographs are meant to represent the importance of being comfortable with your body, enjoying it, and being proud of it.
If you suspect that you or someone you care about has an eating disorder, please contact the WCU Health Center (610) 436-2509 or the Counseling Center (610) 436-2301 for information and/or an evaluation.