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Going Back to School Can Trigger Eating Disorders
Date:10/10/2007

lief from other negative emotions."

Remuda reports the risk of developing an eating disorder is particularly high in dormitory settings. A roommate with an eating disorder often teaches other roommates, or indirectly models, eating disorder behaviors. As a result, every time a boarding school or college student gets new roommates, the risk of eating disorders increases.

If a student realizes that she is struggling with an eating disorder, or if she feels like she is becoming too preoccupied with thoughts about food, weight, or body image, she should go to her school counseling program where she can receive confidential and usually free services to address the problem. If she doesn't know about her school's guidance program, most dorms have an "RA" or Resident Advisor who can assist her in locating resources on campus.

"The increase in eating disorders is alarming," adds Lafferty. "There are several reasons why women are resorting to pathological and self-destructive means of achieving an idealized body image. The first is that we're constantly comparing ourselves to unrealistic images and models in our culture that cause us to feel negatively about our bodies. The discrepancy between the 'average' woman and the typical female figure in the media has become so severe. In addition, women have increasingly become involved in competitive athletics during the past few decades. Participation in certain sports, such as track, cross-country, swimming, gymnastics and dance, are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders. Also, daily life stress and pressure to succeed seem to have increased for many women over the past several decades."

If parents are concerned about their daughter, ask her to go to her college's counseling offices for an evaluation. If she refuses, then parents may need to confront her when she comes home for the holidays. Parents may need to let her know that she may not be able to return to school until a doctor and a th
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SOURCE Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders
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