The UBC Okanagan community is coming together to raise awareness of eating disorders and encourage healthy living. Their initiatives, including facilitating a personalized postcard campaign are aimed to de-mystify issues around dieting, food, compulsive exercise, body image and self-esteem.
Visit the booths hosted by the School and Heath and Exercise Sciences and the PUMPS (Prevention, Understanding, Motivation Power and Skills to heal) program on February 4 and 5. Here you will be encouraged to explore body image challenges, learn more about how to help individuals affected by eating disorders and excessive exercise and discuss healthy heating.
“It’s surprising that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness,” says Sally Willis-Stewart, senior instructor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. “This is particularly concerning for us on campus, which we see as a breeding ground for these disorders.”
Ninety per cent of those with eating disorders are women between 12 to 25 years old. Of these, 53 per cent say their illness first started during college. These individuals may use techniques such as binging and purging as weight management strategies. In fact, college-aged women between 18 and 21 years have higher rates of bulimia than their peers who are not in college.
“Our ongoing aim, which we highlight during Eating Disorders Week, is to encourage prevention by helping people understand these disorders and the importance of healthy attitudes towards body image, eating and physical activity,” says Mary Jung, assistant professor of human kinetics.
Where: Fipke Atrium
When: Wednesday, February 3, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. / Thursday, February 4, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.