Community to raise awareness for eating disorders

The community is getting ready to raise awareness for eating disorders.

The second annual Burlington National Eating Disorder Association Walk will take place Saturday, April 11 and will begin at the Royall Tyler Theatre. The NEDA Walk is a non­competitive event that seeks to raise money and awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment, according to the NEDA website.

“It’s an issue that affects our campus so it’s important that students become aware and show their support,” sophomore Maggie Batton said.

In the United States, close to 30 million men and women will suffer from “clinically significant” eating disorders in their life, according to the NEDA website.

“I truly believe that everyone knows someone suffering from an eating disorder,” said senior Olivia Taylor, who is the coordinator for the walk. As for the walk, Taylor said she hopes that people who are struggling will learn to reach out and find help, she said. She also said she hopes that “someone who has recovered will feel empowered and recognized.”

All proceeds from the walk go to NEDA and NEDA Network Members to help fund awareness, prevention, service and treatment programs, according to the event’s website.

“It’s important to raise awareness of eating disorders and also show support for people that are dealing with one, or may have a friend that’s dealing with one,” said Lizzy Pope, assistant professor in the UVM nutrition and foods science department and the director of the didactic program in dietetics.

“By doing something like the walk, it brings a sense of community ,” Pope said. Last year, the Burlington NEDA Walk raised over $7,000, according to the Facebook page.  For students who may be struggling with a disorder, Pope said that they should look for support at the Center for Health and Well-being. The center offers free psychiatric counseling, consultation services, dietetic services, outreach programs and more.