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This release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507,
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506,

Are Your Eating Habits Healthy? Find out at Tri-County's Eating Disorders Screening

(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- Are you dissatisfied with your body or have an intense fear of gaining weight? Do you over-exercise, restrict calories or think about food all the time? Do you avoid eating around other people, or feel that food has a power over you so that you can’t stop eating even when you are full?

If you are concerned about your eating habits, or those of a friend, you may find it helpful to talk to counselors March 1 when Tri-County Technical College will hold anonymous screenings for eating disorders. In addition, information on how to stop letting food, weight and calories control your life will be available. The event, which is open to the public, will be held in the College’s Student Center, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 5 - 7 p.m. Students in the College's Abnormal Psychology class will produce the event as a service learning project.

Colleges across the country are offering this education and screening program as part of the National Eating Disorders Screening Program (NEDSP), sponsored by the national non-profit Screening For Mental Health. NEDSP is being held at colleges nationwide in conjunction with Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 26 - March 4.

The event includes an educational media presentation, an opportunity to complete a written self-assessment and an opportunity to talk privately with a health professional about screening results. If appropriate, students may be referred to the counseling center for a complete evaluation. Participants will be entered into a drawing for prizes generously donated by local businesses in support of the event.

“Adjusting to college life can be difficult for many and the desire to fit in can make students susceptible to eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. Ninety-five percent of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25 and the majority of those who have an eating disorder don’t seek treatment, often as a result of shame or social stigma. The goal of the screening event is to reduce the stigma attached to eating disorders and let students know that help is available,” says Katherine Cruise, communications manager for Screening for Mental Health, the non-profit organization that sponsors the National Eating Disorders Screening Program.

Counselors emphasize that even those who do not have a diagnosable eating disorder can benefit from this program. Food concerns, body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem can keep a student from achieving at school or sports and hinders social activities like dating or being with friends. This program offers education and screening to help students stop unhealthy eating habits before they evolve into full-blown eating disorders.

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