Penn State observes National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

February 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State Student Affairs will host a number of on-campus activities and events Feb. 20-27 to educate and raise awareness about eating disorders and body liberation.

The activities, which coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, 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, eating disorders typically begin between ages 18 and 21. Early detection, intervention and treatment are extremely important in identifying and combatting the issue.

All Penn State students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to attend the free events and activities surrounding National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Valid fitness passes are required for all FitWell classes, while events at the HUB-Robeson require no pass. 

Keynote: Jes Baker: "Change the World, Love Your Body"

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center, co-sponsored by Gender Equity Center and Health Promotion & Wellness

Jes Baker is an author, international speaker, and blogger with a background in mental health. On her blog, The Militant Baker, she preaches the importance of body autonomy, self-love, and mental health. She is well known for her visual campaigns, such as #LoveTheMirror and her recent letter to Lane Bryant/#EmpowerAllBodies.

Student Engagement Events

Wednesday, Feb. 20 to Thursday, Feb. 21 and Monday, Feb. 25 to Wednesday, Feb. 27, Table 4 & 5 HUB-Robeson Center, led by HealthWorks and sponsored by Health Promotion & Wellness.

Students may write positive affirmation cards, obtain resources on eating disorders and receive body positive handouts, workbooks and love your body stickers.

Body positive health and fitness classes

Celebrate Body Positivity with a series of specialized FitWell classes sponsored by Campus Recreation. All fitness and experience levels are encouraged to attend these classes.

These classes are free to students, faculty and staff with a valid Penn State fitness pass. 

Power Remix

4:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 124 Intramural Building

Dance to relieve stress and clear your mind at this high-intensity cardio-based class that will focus on body positive language.


12:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, and 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, 16 Intramural Building

Focus on how your body moves and feels with body positive language and written body positive messages. Work to improve your fitness, flexibility, and focus. No prior Yoga experience is necessary.

The Body Monologues

-- 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center, sponsored by Health Promotion and Wellness

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

Events are funded by the Laura R. Whitaker Fund.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 25 to March 3) 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.

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.

Last Updated February 14, 2019