It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and local college students are bringing attention to the topic on their campus.
“Eating disorders on this campus, we do see both ends of the spectrum, so we see those maybe who are battling anorexia, who are severely underweight and we also see those on the other side of that with binge eating disorder,” says Madison Estrada, Licensed Master’s Level Psychologist.
This week promotes national eating disorder awareness and this disorder can affect anyone at any age.
“It is a big problem. Probably one in five college age and high school age girls struggle with symptoms of eating disorders and it’s a complex problem,” says Dr. Karl Wendt, Mount Hope Counseling Director.
And college campus psychiatrists are noticing a trend of eating disorders among students.
“We tend to see more prevalent among our athletes actually and from there we do see more women. However, men tend to be underrepresented in the data and statistics when it comes to eating disorders,” says Madison Estrada.
Eating disorders can be caused by stress and expectations that college students face, but some people can also be genetically predisposed to eating disorders. Dr. Wendt explains tell tale signs to know if someone you know may have an eating disorder.
“Secrecy around food. It may be eating a whole lot, but not seeing any signs of that of not gaining weight, but eating quite a bit. It could be dehydration, it could be weakness,” says Dr. Karl Wendt.
A peer health education organization at Pittsburg State University, Gorilla in Your Midst, is trying to raise awareness of eating disorders on campus. So club members took time out of their day to talk to students about this issue.
“It’s talking about physical symptoms that individuals may see and how it affects bodies, so different organ systems throughout the body, so how eating disorders affect the brain, liver, kidneys, and things of that nature,” says Taylor Panczer, Campus Activities Program Coordinator.