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ND faces eating disorders

Lisa Schultz | Monday, February 21, 2005

Notre Dame will be holding Eating Disorders Awareness Week in an attempt to create an environment more open to diversity and less focused on image. Valerie Staples, coordinator of Eating Disorder Services in the University Counseling Center, has been planning activities and exhibits in conjunction with “U B Well,” a student-run wellness group, since October. Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a national event from Feb. 27 to March 5. The dates, however, were shifted for Notre Dame due to spring break. In general, college students are particularly affected by eating disorders because college is a time of transition, which makes individuals more vulnerable, Staples said. Despite its prevalence, people are hesitant to talk about disordered eating. Through passive awareness, planners hope there will be more talk and less fear surrounding eating disorders on the Notre Dame campusThroughout the week, table tents will be set up in the dining hall to give messages encouraging healthy eating. In the Huddle, cup labels will have information about eating disorders with Internet addresses so students can gain more information if desired. Fitness affirmations will cover up the calorie counters on cardio machines at Rolfs Sports Recreation Center, so students ask themselves if they are exercising to burn calories or because it’s a healthy thing to do, Staples said. “In the Eye of the Culture,” a three-dimensional art project, will be on display in the entryway of Rolfs. One of the messages of the display is to recognize beauty can be seen through many different filters, said Staples said.The Gender Relations department is hosting a panel discussion about eating disorders and recovery from them Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the LaFortune Ballroom. “Do I Look Fat in This?,” a lecture given by Jessica Weiner, eating disorder activist and author of “A Very Hungry Girl,” will take place Wednesday at 9 p.m. in DeBartolo 101. Weiner’s lecture is considered the highlight of Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The film “Barbie Nation” will play on Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in DeBartolo 102. According to Staples, involvement with the University Counseling Center can range from a single visit to comprehensive treatment.