Do you or someone you know avoid meals? Eat large amounts of food in short time? Obsess about losing weight? Exercise Constantly?

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and the theme is “It’s time to talk about it”. Some estimate as high as 1 in 3 women struggle with disorder eating and body image in college. And it’s not just women any more, men suffer too. Maybe you’re concerned about your friend’s weight loss, restrictive eating or vomiting after meals. So, what can you do?

  • First study up on eating disorders. Check the sites below for information.
  • Write out ahead of time what you are seeing, being specific. “Skipping meals, weight loss, mood swings, etc”.
  • Start by sharing how much you care and use “I” statements. “I’ve noticed you’re under a lot of stress lately, and I just want you to know I’m here. Let me know how I can help”. Then maybe be more specific, “it looks like you’ve lost a lot of weight and are always talking about weight, food and exercise, and how unhappy you are with your body. I’m concerned about your health”.
  • Then listen! Your friend may deny or minimize it, or say it happened in the past but not now. Be empathetic, trying to be in their shoes. Not agreeing or judging, but trying to understand.
  • If it becomes a health concern, encourage them to see their physician, a counselor or nutritionist.
  • The other thing you can do is work against “fattism” or that drive for thinness which guarantees popularity, perfectionism, and most of all success. It’s not unlike racism, or sexism and is prejudice at the cost of health. Stomp out the theory that we all have to look the same, and focus on how we feel instead of how we look.

    Organizations for information
    National Eating Disorders Association
    National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
    Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc. (ANRED)
    Something Fishy

    Eating Disorder Recovery Groups in Jacksonville

  • Mondays, 7-8pm - 1003 3rd Street N, Jacksonville Beach, FL Corner of 3rd Street (A1A) & 9th Avenue North in Jacksonville BeachFor more information and to register please call 270-1234
  • Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30-Daisy Room at Baptist South Hospitalcheck this website for more information http://www.edrecoveryjax.com/
  • Wednesday, 3:30-4:30- UNF Counseling Center - Building 2 - 620-2602 for questions - MEDA: Mentor the campus community in its understanding of eating disorders Empower students to live free of body, food and weight obsessions
    Develop healthy alternatives and provide mutual support
    Advocate healthy eating and total mind/body wellness