Free eating disorder screenings available on Feb. 20

Jade Critchfield

Students can find out whether they are at risk for an eating disorder through a free screening available Feb. 20 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.

Students who attend will fill out a prescreen form and meet with a clinician, who will go over eating disorder risks they may have, body image and nutrition and give them direction toward additional resources if needed, said John Schell, a senior psychologist at University Health Services.

Most college students fall into the age group when most eating disorders occur, usually between ages 18 and 21, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.

Even if students don’t think they have an eating disorder, they should still get screened, Schell said.

“A lot of times, people will sometimes convince themselves that what they’re doing is healthy, and it may or may not be healthy,” Schell said. “Sometimes it is important to have that external frame of reference just to gauge when are these good choices for me or are they putting me at risk for, not even just eating disorders, but for mental health issues. Talking to someone might give them some clarity they would not be able to find on their own.”

About 10 to 20 percent of women and 4 to 10 percent of men in college battle an eating disorder, according to the National Eating Disorder Association.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week starts Feb. 25 and goes through March 3.

Jade Critchfield covers health and fitness. Contact her at [email protected].

National Eating Disorder Association