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Do You Have an Eating Disorder?

Photo by Danielle Thomas
Just checking — (from left, standing) Sophomores Keith Franklin and Shuntoria Walls and junior Shree Johnson turn in their eating disorder screening tools to (seated from left) Terri Richardson and Laura Hughes on Wednesday in the Green Room.
Danielle Thomas
Staff Writer

   The University of Arkansas at Monticello held the fifth annual Eating Disorders Screening Feb 22.

   Terri Richardson, director of Student Services and the exercise center, and Laura Hughes, director of Counseling, Testing and Career Services, held the screening in the Gibson University Center Green Room.

   The screening monitored anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. These eating disorders are a major problem in college students and can also cause mental problems.

   "Usually, people with eating disorders suffer from other mental disorders -- depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse," Hughes said.

    The screening is a national event from Mental Health Screening. Students answer a series of questions to determine if they have an eating disorder.

   According to The Renfrew Center Foundation, there are many signs that a person has an eating disorder.

   A person with anorexia:

   • Is thin and continues to get thinner
   • Diets even though she/he is not overweight
   • Has a distorted body-image -- feels fat even when they are thin
   • Loses or experiences thinning hair
   • Talks excessively about food, cooking or dieting

   A person with bulimia:

   • Engages in binge eating
   • Uses the bathroom frequently after meals
   • Reacts to stress by overeating
   • Experiences frequent fluctuations in weight
   • Has depressive moods

   A person with binge eating disorder:

   • Eats large amounts of food when not physically hungry
   • Eats rapidly
   • Eats to the point of feeling uncomfortably full
   • Often eats alone because of shame or embarrassment
   • Has a history of marked weight fluctuations

   According to the National Institute of Mental Heath, adolescent and young women account for 90 percent of eating disorder cases; however, eating disorders are also a problem among men. Men are more likely to develop an eating disorder when participating in sports where their weight is monitored, such as swimming, body-building and wrestling.

   "Normally, people think (eating disorders) are strictly common in females, but that's not the case," Richardson said.

   Hughes and Richardson score the results as soon as the student is done with the screening tool. They also send the results to Mental Health Screening.

   Richardson said they make referrals to the appropriate healthcare providers. Student Health Services follow up with the students.

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©The Voice 2006
09/17/2007 02:08:02 PM— http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/3_18/eat.htm