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Resources on Campus for Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Written by on February 23, 2021

Photo Courtesy ISU Facebook Page

NORMAL, Ill. – This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week following the theme ‘Every Body has a seat at the table’.

Body Image and Eating Disorder Outreach Coordinator, Dr Jenni Thome discusses the purpose of bringing awareness.

“The goal is to shine a spotlight on the prevalence and presence of eating disorders by sharing education, sending a message of hope, and connecting folks to resources,” said Thome.

The theme this year works to raise awareness and challenge systemic biases for everyone, but specifically from those in marginalized communities. Thome explains the week focuses on this message because everybody is impacted.

“It’s really focusing and bringing awareness to how eating disorders and body image concerns affect all kinds of individuals,” said Thome. “So, not just females, not just white folks. It really affects individuals in marginalized communities. It affects men and nonbinary gendered individuals across the board.”

Illinois State University’s programs the Body Project and the Body Project: More Than Muscles are both healthy body image and eating disorder prevention programs designed for college students.

The programs offer students resources and tools to refute unrealistic appearance ideals promoted by society.

“They are kind of sibling programs and students choose the one that fits best for them. They’re both prevention programs that have research showing they do in fact improve students body image and prevent eating disorders,” said Thome.

Student Counseling Services will continue to share information and resources across social media. They plan to discuss how different populations and groups are affected by eating disorders and body image concerns.

Thome explains that resources on-campus work to give students struggling with eating disorders or body image concerns some hope.

“There is hope. The prevention programs like the Body Project and More than Muscles have research that shows they help improve body image and prevent eating concerns,” said Thome. “And for folks who are struggling with an eating concern, we try our best to connecting them with resources.”

Students can find resources for the Body Project here.