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By Tammy Gay


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During the week of Feb. 25 through March 1, several events will be held in conjunction with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

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Feb. 25, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Five million to 10 million women and girls - 5 to 10 percent of all adolescent girls and women - across the United States suffer from an eating disorder. At least 50,000 of these women and girls will die because of complications from these disorders.

During the week of Feb. 25-March 1, the campus and community organization UK CARES (Counseling, Awareness, Resources, and Educational Services), University Health Service, and University Counseling and Testing Center will host events in conjunction with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

The following events are free and open to the public:

-- "Recovering Bodies" video and presentation by individuals who have recovered from an eating disorder at 7 p.m., Feb. 26, at the William T. Young Library auditorium. Refreshments will be provided.

-- "Slim Hopes" video and discussion with UK eating disorder experts at noon, Feb. 27, at the William T. Young Library gallery. Bring your lunch.

"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 Health Service.

Although the majority of victims of eating disorders are females, males can be affected too.

Signs of eating disorders include: preoccupation with food and weight; conversations about "feeling fat" when weight is normal or below normal; low self-esteem; knowledge about the number of calories and fat content in foods; and obsessive exercising.

When someone suspects a friend of having an eating disorder, he or she should talk to the friend privately and express concerns about the friend's emotional and physical health.

"When approaching a friend, sister, or daughter, try not to focus on eating and weight, but on your concern for her health and safety," Kindy said. "Friends and family also need to remember that an eating disorder is not only a problem, but also can be an attempt to solve a problem."

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