Eating & Body Image
- How do you feel about your body?
- How do I know if I have a problem?
- Body Image Concerns
- Disordered Eating vs. Eating Disorders
- Types of Eating Disorders
- Eating Disorders Can Affect Anyone
- Myths about Eating Disorders
- Treatment and Resources
- Online Resources
- Book Suggestions
- Do you worry about the weight, shape, or size of your body?
- Do you exercise because you feel like you have to?
- Do you ever feel out of control when you are eating?
- Do you diet, count calories, of skip meals to reduce how much you eat?
- Do you worry about gaining weight?
- Do you worry about not being physically fit or muscular enough?
- Do you feel ashamed, disgusted, or guilty after eating?
- Do you feel like your identity and value are based on how you look or how much you weigh?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be experiencing eating or exercise behaviors/attitudes that are taking a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
People with a negative body image have a greater likelihood of developing an eating disorder and are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, isolation, low self-esteem, difficulties concentrating, and obsessions with weight loss. Strive for body acceptance, find ways to be positive about yours and others’ bodies, and be healthy at your size!
What distinguishes disordered eating from a full-blown eating disorder?
- It is all about degree. An individual with disordered eating is often engaged in some of the same behavior as those with eating disorders, but at a lesser frequency or lower level of severity.
- Disordered eating is problematic and to be taken seriously, though the symptoms might not be as extreme as those of a diagnosable eating disorder.
- Individuals with disordered eating may be at risk for developing a full-blown eating disorder and are more likely to have a history of depression and/or anxiety, or be at risk for anxiety and depression at some point in the future.
There are several types of eating disorders, and it is not uncommon that an individual may experience different forms of eating disorders at different times.
Each eating disorder often comes with significant health risks and can impact your physical well-being and your emotional and social wellness.
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Binge Eating Disorder
- Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder
- Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder
- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
While not a specific eating disorder diagnosis, Orthorexia is gaining increased attention and often overlaps with Anorexia Nervosa or otherwise can negatively impact an individual’s health and well-being. There are many risks associated with dieting and “clean eating.”
- Approximately one third of individuals with eating disorders are male, despite stereotypes that it is rare for men to have eating disorders.
- The prevalence of eating disorders is similar across racial groupsin the U.S.
- Research shows that rates of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction among older populations are on the rise.
- LGBTQI+ individuals may experience unique contributing factors in the development of an eating disorder.
- Each person’s body is different and health exists at every size.
There are many myths about eating disorders. Click the video links below for a more in depth look.
- Myth #1: You can look at someone and know if they have an eating disorder.
Busted: You can’t tell if someone has an eating disorder by their appearance.
- Myth #2: Families are to blame.
Busted: Families are not the cause of eating disorders. Actually, family can be a client’s greatest support in treatment.
- Myth #3: Eating disorders are a choice.
Busted: Genetic, neurobiological, and environmental factors influence eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious biologically-influenced mental illnesses, not passing fads.
- Busted: Research is continuously emerging that provides evidence for the neurobiological contributing factors to the development and maintenance of eating disorders.
- Myth #4: Eating disorders are for life.
Busted: Complete recovery is possible.
- Myth #5: Society alone is to blame.
Busted: Eating disorder onset and maintenance is typically due to strong genetic and neurobiological factors.
- Myth #6: Those who have eating disorders are small-bodied, white, upper-middle class teenage girls
Busted: Eating disorders can affect all individuals.
Resources for Buckeyes:
- Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) offers individual, group therapy and other mental health services. To get started, schedule a phone screening, and we will help you determine your treatment needs.
- Student Health Services (SHS) provides accessible, high quality health services. Call 614-292-4321 for an appointment.
- Student Wellness Center (SWC) offers nutritional services with a registered dietitian who is part of the OSU Eating Disorder Treatment Team.
- OSU Eating Disorder Treatment Team is a collaboration of healthcare professionals from CCS, SHS, and SWC to provide treatment services, support, and recommendations for OSU students.
- Body Sense is an OSU student organization that strives to promote positive body/self-image for all OSU students.
- Project HEAL is a national organization with an OSU chapter that is a leading non-profit organization in the U.S. delivering prevention, treatment financing, and recovery support for people suffering from eating disorders
- The Body Image and Health Taskforce is a collaborative group of faculty, staff, and students from various disciplines and departments across campus who strive to provide education and resources for exploring issues related to health, body image, and eating disorders.
Resources in Columbus for specialized or higher levels of treatment:
In addition to numerous private practice therapists, dietitians, and physicians, Columbus is home to many eating disorder specialists and treatment centers.
- The Center for Balanced Living is a specialized eating disorder organization providing comprehensive treatment, research, and education services for adolescents and adults in Central Ohio.
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital Eating Disorders Program provides treatment services for individuals up to age 21.
Other resources in Ohio for specialized or higher levels of treatment:
Cleveland: The Emily Program
Cincinnati: Eating Recovery Center
- National Eating Disorders Association
- Eating Disorder Hope
- The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness (includes treatment resource guide)
- TEDxColumbus: Eating Disorders from the Inside Out
- Families Empowered & Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders (FEAST)
- Life Without Ed
- Goodbye Ed, Hello Me
- The Adonis Complex (male body obsession)
- The Rules of “Normal” Eating
- Making Weight: Men’s Conflicts with Food, Weight, Shape & Appearance
- Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
- Gaining: The Truth about Life after Eating Disorders
- Overcoming Binge Eating Disorder
- Health at Every Size
- Telling Ed NO!
- Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders
- Intuitive Eating
- Eating Mindfully
- The Hunger Within
- Real Gorgeous