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In the Media | Ramapo engages in discussion of Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Written by: Amanda Jones
Published by: Ramapo News

On Tuesday, Ramapo hosted a discussion that dove into social media and practicing self-love amongst Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW). Ramapo’s Counseling Services, Ramapo Psychology Professor Jessica Saunders and The Renfrew Center’s professional relations representative Nancy Graham aimed to help those who attended fight against eating disordered thoughts.

EDAW, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, “is an annual campaign to educate the public about eating disorders and to provide hope, support, and visibility to those affected.” This year, it lasts from Feb. 27 to March 5 and the theme is “C.A.R.E,” which stands for Continue the Conversation, Act Early, Strengthen Recovery and End the Cycle.

As reported by National Today, “more than 30 million Americans ranging from kids to older adults… [suffer] from eating disorders.” Additionally, the Child Mind Institute “estimates that between 10 and 20% of women and 4 to 10% of men in college suffer from an eating disorder, and rates are on the rise.” Therefore, hosting this discussion is very important on a college campus like Ramapo’s, especially with the increased use of technology.

With consistent access to face and body altering filters and editing apps, body issues continue to affect more people. There is a constant pressure to look a certain way on social media, and when discussing a topic like EDAW, there is an unfortunate connection.

Due to Tuesday’s snow, the event had to be moved online, but the takeaways were all the same. The event began with a slideshow put together by Saunders, who conducts research on this topic but focuses primarily on women. Graham stated that “a lot of men do [suffer] too, a lot of males [and] a lot of people who identify with all different… sexualities… and it really is not something that just women have.”

“We live in a culture where disordered eating is actually often promoted,” Saunders began, leading into her idea that social media has an immense influence on body image, therefore creating a relationship between media and disordered eating.

 

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