Do you have an eating disorder?
Respond honestly to these questions. Do you:
* Constantly think about your food, weight or body image?
* Have difficulty concentrating because of those thoughts?
* Worry about what your last meal is doing to your body?
* Experience guilt or shame around eating?
* Count calories whenever you eat or drink?
* Feel "out of control" when it comes to food?
* Binge-eat twice a week or more?
* Still feel fat when others tell you that you are thin?
* Obsess that your stomach, hips, thighs or buttocks are too big?
* Weigh yourself several times daily?
* Exercise more than an hour every day to burn calories?
* Exercise to lose weight even if you are ill or injured?
* Label foods as "good" and "bad"?
* Vomit after eating?
* Use laxatives or diuretics to keep your weight down?
* Severely limit your food intake?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions – regardless of whether you fit the clinical criteria for an eating disorder – your attitudes and behaviors around food and weight may need to be seriously addressed.
Sources of help for eating disorders:
Hartshorn Health Service
Women's Health: 491-7121
Dental Health: 491-1710
University Counseling Center
Eating Disorder Awareness Month begins today, and a variety of programs are being offered throughout the month on campus.
The awareness month has been going on for years, but the amount of programs and awareness CSU offers has ebbed and flowed, said licensed psychologist Danielle Oakley of the University Counseling Center.
Oakley said 91 percent of females on college campuses are working to control their weight through dieting. This is the most common risk factor for eating disorders and makes it an important yet difficult issue on campuses.
One percent of the general population has anorexia, and 1 to 3 percent has bulimia, Oakley said.
Anorexia is an eating disorder in which people significantly restrict the amount of food they consume. Bulimia is an eating disorder in which people consume large amounts of food in a short period of time, then "purge" their bodies of the excess calories by vomiting, abusing laxatives and/or diuretics, excessively exercising and fasting.
The Wellness Programs at CSU have scheduled a variety of activities and speakers throughout the month designed to increase eating disorder awareness on campus.
"It's a common problem and not well understood," said Dr. Jane Higgins, a physician at Hartshorn Health Service. "We want to make it out in the open by advertising resources and making some of it fun, too."
Higgins offered some tips for people seeking resources to help themselves or a friend who may be struggling with an eating disorder.
"We have a nutritionist (at Hartshorn) who is a specialist in eating disorders," Higgins said. "We also have medical evaluations and sometimes medication for patients."
A variety of Internet and book resources, as well as off-campus therapy, are also available to students looking for help, Higgins said.
Higgins said it is important to be supportive of a friend whom you think might have an eating disorder, instead of being confrontational.
"It's a difficult decision to approach a friend who you think might have an eating disorder because you'd hate to be wrong," said freshman open-option student Lisa Goebel.
A lot of times Higgins said she has patients bring a trusted friend with them to their first appointment to ease the process.
Higgins said women are not the only group that suffers from eating disorders; men can also develop unhealthy eating habits.
"(Disordered eating in men) is thought to be much more common per results of survey than we see," Higgins said. "But stats say that there are certain risk groups for men such as athletes. It's there and it is less recognized and men don't come for treatment."
Whoever the afflicted person might be, campus wellness has begun the battle against disordered eating plaguing the campus.
"It's so hard to get away from because our society is so focused on what people look like that we are not paying attention to people's other attributes," Oakley said.