February 24, 2013 – March 2, 2013
These types of thoughts can easily take over your or your friend's life. College students are especially vulnerable to unhealthy eating patterns due to stressors associated with school. External pressures like academic prestige, social acceptance and achieving a physical ideal can all lead to an unhealthy relationship with weight and food. In fact, 25% of college-aged women report engaging in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique. As many as 10% of college women suffer from a completely developed eating disorder. College males are not immune; 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. Increasingly, men are feeling the pressure for physical perfection that can lead to excessive exercise and fixation on low body fat percentage.
There are different reasons why eating disorders happen, and different forms they can take (bulimia, anorexia, over-eating, over-exercising etc.). The one thing they all have in common is that they can have very serious consequences – not just for your studies but for your physical and mental wellbeing as well. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. In addition to abnormal eating and weight issues, people with eating disorders have an increased risk of developing other psychiatric illnesses. Studies show that depression occurs in up to 50% of people with eating disorders and appears to be strongly linked to the abnormal eating behavior.
For more information, contact Linda Dudman in the UHS Health Promotion Office at (585) 273-5770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.