UNT observed National Eating Disorders Awareness Week with Love Yo’ Self Week, held Feb. 26 through March 3. Counseling and Testing Services, in conjunction with the Student Health and Wellness Center and Recreational Sports, offered students 13 free events, ranging from Pilates, yoga and Zumba classes to art therapy, therapy dogs and a skin care fair.

The week concluded with the Denton NEDA Walk, held on March 3, which had approximately 350 participants. The walkathon provided the Denton community with better awareness of different forms of eating disorders while raising more than $7,000 for the National Eating Disorders Association.

“The goals of the week were to help students increase self-compassion and self-love,” said Steffanie Grossman, Counseling and Testing Services licensed psychologist, outreach & group coordinator, eating disorders & body image services specialist and Denton NEDA Walk coordinator. “Frequently, people are much harder on themselves than they would be a friend or other loved one. Our aim is to help students continue to develop compassion that allows them to forgive themselves for making mistakes and move forward. We hope students realize that they are not alone in body image concerns and eating disorder symptoms, and that they have support from the UNT community to encourage them to love themselves.”

Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes and affect people of all gender identities and ethnicities. More importantly, eating disorders can have severe negative health and emotional consequences, and they can result in death.

Research suggests that out of the 38,000 students at UNT, “it’s likely that about 7,600 UNT students have a diagnosable eating disorder and 15,200 have eating disorder symptoms without reaching the severity of a diagnosis,” noted Grossman.

For more information on eating disorders and how to get help, visit http://studentaffairs.unt.edu/student-health-and-wellness-center/services/beatED or contact the Body Image and Eating Awareness Team at 940-565-2333.

Photos by Ross Ocampo

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Contact: Ray Willhoft, 940-565-2464, raymond.willhoft@unt.edu