Eating Disorder Awareness shares different types of disorders

Lea Petersen

Monday marks the beginning of Eating Disorder Awareness Week at Iowa State. With various activities offered every day for students to attend and participate in, Michelle Roling, certified eating disorder specialist at Iowa State, said she hopes students can become more involved in the fight to “be comfortable in your genes.”

“Students at Iowa State are really fortunate to have a strong [eating disorder] treatment center here on campus,” Roling said. “Iowa State ranks in the top of the nation regarding the many services we offer students struggling with food and body concerns.”

Eating disorders can be categorized into four different groups — anorexia, bulimia nervosa, binge eating and disordered eating. The university’s student website includes an in-depth explanation of each type.

Anorexia is characterized by extreme fear of getting or being fat. It includes starving oneself and avoiding situations with food, while still viewing oneself as overweight. For women, three missed menstrual cycles is another indicator of the eating disorder.

Bulimia nervosa is defined as binging at least twice a week past the point of feeling full and then purging by either inducing vomit, excessive exercise or inappropriate use of laxatives.

Binge eating includes eating large amounts of food in short time spans for an extended period of time. In both binge eating and bulimia nervosa, there is a lack of control while eating.

Disordered eating is considered the most common of eating disorders and is described as a combination of the three mentioned above.

Eating disorders do not only affect women, Roling said.

“With the rates of men struggling with eating disorders increasing faster than the rates of women struggling, we want to be sure the men on campus know we are here to help them with their concerns,” she said.

If you or someone you know is showing signs of an eating disorder, do not wait until it is too late. Call Student Counseling Services at 515-294-5056.

For more information on eating disorders, check out the Student Couseling Services website.