Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Colleges fighting eating disorders

This month many students are returning to their classrooms. I was happy to read this week that many colleges and universities are shedding light on eating disorders, working to promote a healthy body image and provide support for students who are struggling with body image.

Here are 11 examples of special projects colleges around the country are doing their part to ensure students are getting the support they need to maintain a healthy body image:

1) Life size barbie: In April I talked about the Real Barbie Campaign. One student in New York actually made a life-size Barbie doll to illustrate the icon’s ridiculous proportions.

2) Alternative treatments: Yoga and relaxation solutions are integrated into other on campus activities to help those at risk to learn to develop a healthy sense of self and self-care.

3) Healthy body image fashion shows

4) Healthy Living Awareness: i.e. Body Appreciation Weeks

5) Removing calorie information: Harvard University found that those at risk for eating disorders were placing so much emphasis on calories and food values they removed nutritional information index cards from dining halls.

6)Sorority Body Image program: In order to challenge their stereotypes and change the perception of the thin ideal, students and sorority sisters at Trinity University in Texas have come together to share eating disorder prevention on their college campus and beyond.

7) Recovery art: The University of the Sciences's "The Art of Recovery" art display is therapy for the women who create it, and inspiring for those who view and appreciate it.

8) The Body Project: Inspired by Dove’s campaign for Real Beauty, Bradley University students posed for photos shared on campus and posted on the Body Project website

9)Fighting the thin ideal

10) Project Heal: The project is designed to give those who are suffering from eating disorders the money they need to complete the expensive treatment.

11) Healty Dining halls: Penn State has banished fried food and simple carbohydrates including white bread.

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