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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Annual Love Your Body Day events promote awareness of health issues

Annual+Love+Your+Body+Day+events+promote+awareness+of+health+issues

Campus Health Service is asking students to “love their bodies” on Tuesday and Wednesday with events on campus dedicated to promoting a healthy body image.

The UA’s Love Your Body Day, developed by Campus Health’s Counseling and Psych Services, is in correlation with National Eating Disorder Awareness Week that began on Sunday. This year, Love Your Body Day has been divided into two days where students can participate in a body image screening on Tuesday and watch the movie “America The Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments” with one of the film’s collaborators on Wednesday.

“We are really excited about the events and really want to use this time to raise awareness (about) a topic some avoid to get into,” said Laura Orlich, a mental health clinician for CAPS. “A lot of people might see eating disorders as something to be shameful of and we need to let students know you can talk about it.”

Body image screening tents will be set up all around campus today, including places like Campus Health, the UA Mall, the UofA Bookstore and the Student Recreation Center, which is a new location for the screenings this year. At the screenings, volunteers will hand out forms provided by the organization Screening For Mental Health containing questions regarding a person’s eating habits, body image and mental wellness. The screening on average takes about three minutes to complete and students who participate will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a Chipotle burrito party for 10 people.

“We have seen great success in the number of participants who take the survey because of raffling prizes,” said Gale Welter, a nutrition counselor for Campus Health, who said about 200 students took the survey last year. This is an increase from the 100 surveys filed in 2010. “We’re also doing better intercepting students on the run to take the survey because it only takes a few minutes.”

The screenings conducted are anonymous and all forms filled out will be sent to the National Practitioner Data Bank, where results will be compiled with other colleges in the country. This year 422 schools will be participating, and this is the fifth year the UA has been involved.

“We really use this as a tool to see the trends going on in the country,” Orlich said. “It helps us see how things might be changing or what we need to focus on.”

In addition to screenings, CAPS will provide the tents with information on services they provide, as well as handouts students can take about body image and eating disorders.

“Love Your Body Day brings out a difficult topic in a way where people can feel normal talking about disturbed eating and disturbed body image,” Orlich said. “We want to make sure students get the information, because that is what we are here to do.”

On Wednesday, students will get the chance to meet wellness advocate and author Carolyn Costin during a film screening. She collaborated with director Darryl Roberts, the writer, producer and director of “America the Beautiful 2,” a film that examines America’s obsession with beauty. Costin, who has also a recovered from an eating disorder herself, will be having a question and answer session about the film and her own personal experiences on the topic of eating disorders and body image at the end of the movie.

“Whenever you talk about eating disorders anywhere, people know her and her work,” Welter said. “We are very happy to have her stop by and talk about what she does.”

The screening will be held at the Gallagher Theater on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The event is free to the public. Attendees will receive a coupon for a free Chipotle burrito.

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