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Saint Mary’s fights eating disorders

Justin Tardiff | Monday, February 23, 2004

Ninety-one percent of college-age women nationwide are on a diet. Fifteen percent have a medically diagnosed eating disorder. Starting today, Saint Mary’s will try to raise awareness about this abusive – and increasingly common – behavior by hosting an Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Titled “Celebrate Your S.H.A.P.E.,” which stands for Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality and Experience, the week includes an array of activities designed to offer information, support and resources to students who suffer from eating problems.The events begin tonight, when junior Sarah Anderson will detail her personal experiences in a lecture called “Experiencing Eating Disorders From the Inside Out.” The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. in 303 Haggar Hall.On Tuesday, writer, poet and activist Sonia Sanchez will speak in Carroll Auditorium at 7 p.m. Sanchez’s most recent work, a collection of emotional poems and powerful affirmations called “Shake Loose My Skin,” was published in 1999. The Women’s Studies Department and the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership are co-sponsoring her visit to Saint Mary’s. More personal activities will also be included in the week. Firsthand nutritional information will be distributed on handouts in the Noble Family dining hall on Wednesday, and confidential screenings for eating disorders will take place on Thursday. The screenings will be open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the center for Career and Counseling Development. Also Thursday, the movie “Real Women Have Curves” will be shown in Carroll Auditorium at 7 p.m. Door prizes will be given out and refreshments will be served. Eating Disorder Awareness Week will conclude Friday with more confidential screenings, which will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. in the center for Career and Counseling Development.The week is sponsored by the Saint Mary’s Career and Counseling Development Center and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.