Topic: Student Affairs

February 22, 2007

Eating disorders and negative body image continue to be significant issues affecting young college-age women, said Ball State psychologist Kimberly Gorman.

That's why the Ball State Counseling Center continues to provide information about eating disorders and body image during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 25 through March 3. The theme for the week is "Be Comfortable in Your Genes."

"The goal is to raise awareness of the prevalence of eating disorders and to find those who are at risk," Gorman said. "Problematic eating disorders are more prevalent, in general, on college campuses because they occur more frequently in young females between the ages of 13 to 18."

Prevention and early detection programs are vital because between 1 percent to 3 percent of the general female population will have an eating disorder, but up to 8 percent of the full-blown eating disorders occur in college-age students, Gorman said. 

The week's events are free and open to the public. In addition to various programs, Ball State's Counseling Center will offer free screenings to assess individual risks for developing an eating disorder.

The confidential screenings will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 27 through March 1 in the Art and Journalism Building Atrium and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 27 through March 1 in Teachers College, first-floor concourse. Online screenings are available at

Programming throughout the week includes mindful eating, athletes and eating disorders, medical complications of obesity and other seminars focused on healthful eating and body image issues. 

Special challenges have been issued for each day of the week, such as "Mirrorless Monday," when students are encouraged to stop evaluating their self-worth based on what they see in the mirror; "No Weigh Wednesday," when individuals are encouraged to take a break from the dictates of the scale; and "Freedom Friday," when they are encouraged to eat something they usually don't let themselves enjoy.   

For a full list of the week's activities, go to

For more information, contact Gorman at (765) 285-1736.