Penn State to observe National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Mindy Krause
February 14, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will host a number of on-campus activities Feb 20-23 to raise awareness about eating disorders.

The activities, sponsored by several Student Affairs units, will precede National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and will aim to educate the University community about eating disorders and promote attitudes of self-acceptance and body positivity.  

Eating disorders are classified as serious physical and emotional problems that include extreme attitudes and behaviors toward body image, weight, food and exercise. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 to 25 percent of college-aged students are at risk for developing eating disorders. Early detection, intervention and treatment are extremely important in identifying and combating the issue.

“The college years are often identified as a peak time for the onset of eating disorders,” said Dr. Karen Anderson, University Health Services physician. “Early detection and treatment dramatically increase the likelihood of a complete and lasting recovery. It is extremely important that Penn State creates an open and honest dialogue around these difficult topics and communicates to students that resources are available.”

All Penn State students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to attend the free activities surrounding National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

Monday, Feb. 20: “Embrace” the movie — 6:30 p.m., Freeman Auditorium

The Center for Women Students will host a screening of the film “Embrace,” a social impact documentary, which follows Taryn Brumfitt, founder of The Body Image Movement. Brumfitt talks candidly with experts, women in the street and well-known personalities about the alarming rate of body-image issues in people of all body types.

Wednesday, Feb. 22: The Body Monologues project — 7:30 p.m., Freeman Auditorium

The Body Monologues project, sponsored by University Health Services, is designed to foster conversations about body image through theater. Penn State students will take to the stage to voice their musings, challenges and triumphs related to their bodies. Afterward, audience members and performers will share their opinions and discuss current issues related to body image.

Thursday, Feb. 23: Speaker/Performer: Jill Catherine — 8 p.m., 112 Kern Auditorium

University Health Services and Penn State Panhellenic Council present Jill Catherine, founder of As a former collegiate athlete, Jill Catherine was personally impacted by an eating disorder, which led her to redefine her relationship with her body through multicultural dance, drum arts, yoga and meditation. During the presentation, Jill Catherine will chronicle her experiences and invite others to cope with their emotions through various forms of creative expression.

For more information on eating disorders, including resources and support available at Penn State, please visit Penn State Healthy Eating and Living Support (HEALS). Additional information can be obtained through the National Eating Disorders Association website.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Feb. 24 to March 4, is observed annually during the last week in February. The campaign aims to reduce the stigma surrounding eating disorders and bring public attention to the critical needs of those affected. 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 15, 2017