February 14, 2001
Students at Plymouth State College will participate in “The Great Jeans Giveaway” Feb. 26 – 28 to remind them “don’t fight your genes, just change your jeans!” Students, faculty and staff can receive vouchers for a new pair of jeans, but turning in an old pair. Across the country, individuals and communities will participate in events to raise awareness about body image and eating issues during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 25 – March 4.
Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc. (EDAP), a national non-profit organization, sponsors the week to increase awareness and prevention of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder and to educate the public about the prevalence, types, signs, symptoms and potentially life-threatening problems of eating disorders. During the week, EDAP challenges people to carefully consider and work to improve their body attitudes with the slogan, “Every body is beautiful.”
Dr. Mardie Burckes-Miller, professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Plymouth State College, is coordinator of Eating Disorder Awareness Week at PSC. She says, “Across the U.S. today millions of young women will start their morning on the bathroom scale. They will skip breakfast to avoid the calories and spend most of the day preoccupied with negative thoughts about food and their bodies.” Five to 10 percent of all adolescent girls and women suffer from an eating disorder and many more wage a daily battle with dieting and negative body image.
Burckes-Miller reports that a New Hampshire behavior survey indicates that eight percent of female students vomited or used laxatives to lose weight or prevent weight gain in the span of a month. Dieting among high school students is now the norm. She says, “In a society that often equates thinness with success, achievement and worth, it is not surprising that so many women are willing to risk their emotional and physical health to attain ‘the perfect body.’”
To combat these negative messages, educators, health professionals, therapists and individuals are teaming up with EDAP to host the week long awareness campaign. Activities are being planned across the state. PSC’s third Love your Body Week: Food for Thought will include A Day Without Mirrors, a body fair, seminars, an art show, a chocolate reception and a one-woman performance, in addition to The Great Jeans Giveaway.
For information call Dr. Mardie Burckes-Miller at (603)535-2515. EDAP may be reached at 1-800-931-2237 or at their Web-site, www.edap.org.