The Vermont Cynic

Program to pioneer body talks

Kate Vesely

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scan-editBeing a college student means tackling a multitude of stressors, from assignments and extra curriculars, to social commitments and employment.

But for many, body image and weight gain are being added to this list, creating an increased risk for developing eating disorders on campus.

To combat  such unhealthy behaviors, LivingWell created The Body Project.

The Body Project is a four-week long workshop that works to prevent eating disorders in women and promote healthy self-image. Students discuss the “thin ideal” and what it means to be thin, as well as where the “thin ideal” originated from and who benefits from it, according to Annie Valentine, health educator at LivingWell.

“[The ‘thin ideal’] is affecting our population in a lot of different ways,” Valentine said.

“It can end up causing a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress [and] a lot of isolation.”

According to a study done by New Dawn Treatment Centers, which aids those suffering from eating disorders, 25 percent of college-aged women engage in bingeing and purging and nearly 91 percent of female college students use dieting as a weight-control mechanism.

“Being cognizant of what’s happening to ourselves and our friends helps us to be better friends, better sisters, better human beings and better in that we are becoming more mindful,” Valentine said.

First-year Phoebe Schwartz agrees with Valentine on the workshop’s importance.

“Every girl ever has had problems with their body type,” Schwartz said. “So I feel like everyone has some kind of personal connection to [this program].”

Although the workshop is just for women at this time, Valentine predicts there soon will be one available for other genders.

The workshops are 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9, 16, 30 and Dec. 7. To RSVP, contact Annie Valentine at [email protected] or 802-656-0505.

According to a study done by Kathleen L. Someah, a nutritional assistant at the New Dawn Treatment Centers, a facility dedicated to aid those suffering from eating disorders, 25 percent of college-aged women engage in bingeing and purging and nearly 91 percent of female college students use dieting as a weight-control mechanism.

“Being cognizant of what’s happening to ourselves and our friends helps us to be better friends, better sisters, better human beings and better in that we are becoming more mindful,” Valentine said.

First-year Phoebe Schwartz agrees with Valentine on the workshop’s importance.

“Every girl ever has had problems with their body type,” Schwartz said. “So I feel like everyone has some kind of personal connection to [this program].”

Although the workshop is just for women at this time, Valentine predicts there soon will be one available for other genders.

The workshops are 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9, 16, 30 and Dec. 7. To RSVP, contact Annie Valentine at [email protected] or 802-656-0505.

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Program to pioneer body talks