Office of Public Affairs
CONTACT: Nancy Hale, 312-4416
Feb. 4, 2003
COLLEGE OFFERS PROGRAM TO HELP WEIGHT-OBSESSED
OSWEGO -- Helping people examine their attitudes toward eating and body image is the motivation for Body Acceptance and Eating Awareness Day on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at SUNY Oswego. It is part of the National Eating Disorders Screening Program, a national outreach taking place from Feb. 23 to March 2 across the country.
The college will offer free, anonymous education and screenings for eating disorders from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Hewitt Unionšs ballroom. Local residents are invited to this event.
"For some of us, the battle to attain a certain shape or size becomes an obsession," said Dr. Nancy Hale, director of the Counseling Services Center at SUNY Oswego. "The focus on food, dieting and exercise goes way beyond what is normal or healthy and leads to dangerous health effects and psychological pain."
A highlight of the day will be a panel presentation from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. titled "Diverse Perspectives on Body Image and Eating Disorders." The panelists will represent a mix of perspectives. Two young women will share their struggles with eating disorders, a mother will talk about her efforts to help her anorexic daughters, and two men will discuss body image issues for males.
There will also be a short self-test assessing eating attitudes and an opportunity to talk briefly with a counselor about the results. Referrals to treatment and support services will be made as needed.
There also will be other activities, healthy food samples and recipes, videos to view, and free educational brochures available on eating disorders.
Before the event, student radio station WNYO (88.9 FM) will air "Learning to Love Your Birthday Suit: Body Image Appreciation" Monday, Feb. 17, at 4 p.m. The program will discuss the connections between eating disorders and body image. Mary Ellen Clausen will be interviewed about her experience as a mother of two children diagnosed with eating disorders.
Also, on Feb. 18, from 8 to 9 p.m. in Hart Hall, Dr. Barbara Streets will facilitate a program about body image in the gay male community. It will include viewing the documentary "Beauty Before Age," which explores the power of youth and beauty in the gay male community, followed by a discussion period.
The National Eating Disorders Screening Program, organized by the nonprofit National Mental Illness Screening Project, is being held at some 1,500 sites nationwide during Eating Disorders Awareness Week. It is funded primarily through a grant from the McNight Foundation in Minneapolis.
Locally, SUNY Oswego's hosting of Body Acceptance and Eating Awareness Day is coordinated by the Counseling Services Center and co-sponsored by the college's Auxiliary Services, fitness centers, LifeStyles Center, Residence Life and Housing office and Walker Health Center.
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