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SU program to mark National Eating Disorder Week
Studies have shown that women in their teens and 20s can be particularly susceptible to developing eating disorders, and that bulimia and anorexia strike the college population at alarming rates. In response, a new SU program is being launched to educate students in residence halls about these conditions and how to support positive body image.
The program, funded by a grant from the Vision Fund, is a collaborative effort among Health Services, faculty from the College of Human Services and Health Professions’ (HSHP) Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management and the Office of Residence Life within the Division of Student Affairs. Program events will begin during National Eating Disorder Week, Feb. 23-March 2.
“Eating disorders are a major problem for some of our students here at SU, which can severely affect their health and well being,” said Kathleen VanVechten, director of nursing. “Body image distortion is a major factor, and we are hoping to engage in discussions about these issues help students better understand their bodies and their nutritional needs.”
Under the direction of Assistant Professor Tanya M. Horacek, students enrolled in HSHP’s Nutrition Education (NHM 511) will develop, implement and evaluate the Healthy Eating program for resident advisors through class assignments. The Healthy Eating program will allow resident advisors to identify behaviors that may indicate disordered eating and offer information about resources to peers.
Students and resident advisors will evaluate the project after its completion through a survey. Another survey will also track food and body image attitudes on campus and requests and use of acquired resources. The results will eventually be presented to the campus community through “Campus Factoids,” brief fact-based statements for inclusion on University computer lab screens and residence hall bulletin boards.
The 2003 University Vision Fund provides a number of grants up to $5,000 each to support the creative ideas of faculty at the course level. Successful proposals are those that have the greatest potential to improve teaching and learning. Nine projects have been supported by the Vision Fund this year, including the development of a student health magazine, initiation of an online mathematics placement test, and development of a leadership program for student leaders.