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UK HOSTS "WEEK FOR EVERY BODY"

By Selena Stevens

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The event, representing UK’s efforts in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, will promote positive body attitudes through activities, speakers and panels. A body fair will kick off the events from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Student Center Small Ballroom.

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February 7, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Each year, at least 50,000 women and girls in the United States die as a result of complications from an eating disorder. Five to 10 million, or 5 to 10 percent of the population, struggle with the disorders. More than 1 million boys and men, a small but quickly growing demographic, also show symptoms. More than 80 percent of Americans say they are unhappy with the way they look.

“It is fairly likely that you or someone you know could be dealing with body dissatisfaction, eating concerns or a clinical eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia or compulsive overeating,” said Jill Kindy, registered dietitian at the University of Kentucky’s University Health Service.

To help the community understand, appreciate and treat their bodies properly, the University Counseling and Testing Center, University Health Services and the student group UK CARES will sponsor “A Week for Every Body” Feb. 14 to 18. The event, representing UK’s efforts in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, will promote positive body attitudes through activities, speakers and panels. A body fair will kick off the events from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Student Center Small Ballroom.

Gabriella Pessah, an eating-disorder specialist with the Counseling and Testing Center and adviser to UK CARES, said the week’s events may help people realize unconscious habits and attitudes that could keep them trapped in unhealthy cycles.

“We learn at an early age that food can soothe us and make us feel better,” she said. “When we’re sick, we get soup. When we get hurt, mom gives us a cookie. When we miss home, a home-cooked meal can make everything feel better. A lot of times, we eat to feel safe, secure and comfortable, not because we are physically hungry.”

Whether they are overweight or perceive themselves to be overweight, some individuals will become bulimic or anorexic. They also may begin to develop social problems at school, work or with family and friends.

Dealing with the eating disorders can be a very complicated task, since most involve physical and psychological aspects. The disorders also may be the result of another deeper problem that will need to be dealt with first. In addition, the person will have to stand strong in the face of media and societal images that suggest what is attractive.

“Most models are thinner than 98 percent of American women,” Pessah said. “These models are held up as ideals for us. Those ideals are impossible to meet.”

For more information, call the Counseling and Testing Center at 257-8701 or University Health Services at 323-5823 ext. 238.  

Click here to see the  daily schedule for
"A Week for Every Body"


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