UC Berkeley University Health Services honors National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

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University Health Services, or UHS, is honoring National Eating Disorders Awareness Week from Feb. 24-28 with events and demonstrations, educating the UC Berkeley campus about eating disorders.

The nutrition team at UHS is holding events for body positivity, nutrition counseling and food demonstrations to bring awareness to and destigmatize the subject of disordered eating. UHS’ nutrition webpage has a detailed schedule of events it is holding. Organizations including the Basic Needs Center, UC Berkeley Food Pantry and Moffitt Library are working with UHS, providing locations for tabling and food demonstrations, according to UHS spokesperson Tami Cate and UHS clinical and wellness dietitian Sarah Minkow.

“At UC Berkeley, survey data suggest that more than 4,000 students have experienced an eating disorder in the past year,” Cate and Minkow said in an email.

UHS provides several resources educating campus on body positivity and eating disorder prevention aside from this week’s events. There is an eating disorder clinic on Tuesday and Friday mornings — students can call to make an appointment, Cate and Minkow said. Regular workshops and presentations on body positivity and eating disorder prevention are offered as well; students can fill out a form to participate.

“Our Eating Disorder Clinic at UHS has seen a 25% increase in Eating Disorder visits over the past five years,” Cate and Minkow said in the email.

Anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, weight, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, according to a campuswide email sent by UHS. Signs of an eating disorder can include extreme eating and obsessive behaviors regarding food, exercise or weight, as well as social isolation and fatigue, the email added.

“Eating disorders affect students mentally and physically,” Cate and Minkow said in the email. “Eating disorders affect every part of the body.”

Contact Shylie Ati at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @shylieati.