Eating disorder awareness week highlights organization’s efforts

CAROLINE ROUSH

Special to The Denisonian

Various buildings around the country were illuminated in blue and green to shine spotlight on eating disorders, including the Empire State Building, as part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW).

The goal of NEDAW, which took place Feb. 21-27, is to help put a greater stress on eating disorders and improve the public understanding of their dangers, causes and treatments.

Across the country millions, of people suffer from eating disorders, and organizations such as NEDA promote awareness and access to recourses, encouraging early detection and intervention.

This year NEDA has put together a 3-minute confidential online eating disorder screening, which helps determines it if is time to seek professional help. The goal of this short screening is to focus on the importance of early intervention.

Among nationwide awareness, Denison’s campus holds various events to promote NEDA’s key messages and educate students about these serious diseases.

NEDAW brings people together in creative, engaging ways, helping promote awareness about the seriousness of eating disorders and the many resources available to those affected.

Some of the events held are a film screening and discussion of Killing Us Softly 4 (with help from the CWGA), tabling in Slayter focusing on body positive and body image resources and Food For Thought workshop on mindful eating.

To continue the positive strides our campus is making to help alleviate eating disorders, go follow DU Wellness on Twitter and Denison Health and Wellness Facebook page.

Laine Schwarberg ’16, the “Queen” or simply the key organizer of Naked Week, said, “On campus, it’s kind of impossible to not know that Naked Week is going on. Every year, the dates of Naked Week are chosen because of NEDAW (otherwise, we would not be streaking in February). Therefore, within the campus community, Naked Week brings awareness to NEDAW, casting a light on an important issue that we sometimes overlook.”

With the growing appreciation and popularity of Naked Week, it has become more than just a run for many people.

As Schwarberg said, “I treasure this tradition because there is a very real community that surrounds it on this campus. When people are anxious to participate for the first time, their peers immediately support and encourage them. When a student enters the meeting-place before we start running, people cheer for that person. In this way, Naked Week has become more than appreciating your own body, it is appreciating each other.”

Angela Gloninger ’17 is highly involved with NEDA on campus through Denison’s chapter of Active Minds, a national organization that promotes mental health awareness and works to decreases the stigmas surrounding mental illness.

Gloninger said, “I’ve been a huge supporter of NEDA since my high school years, when some close friends struggled with mental illness. I love NEDA because it envisions a world without eating disorders, and it does everything it can to provide useful resources for recovery and support.”

Gloninger also commented, “I think Naked Week at Denison is a great way to compliment National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. By running in solidarity with other students, Naked Week participants break through self-esteem barriers and insecurities that many people experience. The support that students who run receive from the Denison community is so important because it illustrates a culture of self-love and body positivity that we should all do our best to embody in order to maintain a healthy college environment.”