Thin is in. Or so various media sources would have the general public believe. Magazines, newspapers and now reality shows are promoting the message that excessive dieting and exercise regimens can help achieve unrealistic body images. While some individuals may experience weight loss, what is the ultimate price?
To raise awareness about eating disorders during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, the University of Massachusetts club Active Minds held a panel discussion about eating disorders and how to beat them on Tuesday night.
You would think that professional athletes, who need to be in near-perfect shape to compete, would be the last people to have an eating disorder.
Yet athletes – both men and women – may be two to three times more likely to have an eating disorder than the average person, according to a 1999 study of college athletes by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. A 2004 study of top athletes in Norway reached a similar conclusion, finding that 13.5% of athletes surveyed had an eating disorder, compared with 4.6% of the control group.
This Valentine’s Day, Walden Behavioral Care, which operates a clinic in South Windsor for treating eating disorders, and two-time gold medalist Aly Raisman are combating eating disorders by encouraging people to “Love Your Body.”
Olympian Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass., joined NECN to discuss her new involvement in eating disorder awareness.
Two-time gold medalist, World Champion and USA Gymnastics team captain Aly Raisman will serve as a spokeswoman for Walden Behavioral Care and the Walden Center for Eating Disorder Education and Research.