University Counseling Services (UCS) is the sponsor of Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating (JADE), a peer education program dedicated to the awareness and prevention of eating disorders. Student peer educators receive extensive training in recognizing and articulating causes, symptoms, treatment and referral sources as they prepare to present this information to classes, clubs and organizations on the California State University, Northridge campus. In addition, they teach students how to help their friends and encourage body image acceptance.

There are many reasons why you should be a JADE peer educator. Some benefits include

  • Expanding your skills and knowledge;
  • Developing amazing presentation and public speaking skills;
  • Being a part of a project that will have an impact on others;
  • Enhancing your resume and graduate school applications;
  • Developing long-lasting friendships;
  • Having fun and feeling rewarded!

In order to become a peer educator, you must be able to demonstrate the following qualifications.

  • Commitment to active participation in the project for one full academic year unless you are graduating at the end of the fall semester
  • Hold a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher
  • Attend a mandatory, comprehensive three-day training seminar that will take place in late August
  • Attend a weekly seminar that meets every Tuesday from 11 to 12:30 p.m. each semester
  • Facilitate the events of Love Your Body Day in October, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in the spring, class presentations and other tabling events on campus

If you are interested in becoming a JADE peer educator, submit an application.

The Real Scoop: Reviews from previous peer educators 

"JADE is quite possibly the best experience I have had at CSUN." - Annette D.

"For me, this year [with JADE] has been both rewarding and educational. I learned so much." - Rachel Y. 

"JADE started as a group of strangers and grew into a family for me. It feels good to have such an impact on campus." - Pam W.

"The friendships I have developed in JADE will last me a lifetime." - Aretha M.

"You will be glad to be a part of such a great organization. You won't regret it!" - Vardui K.

Online Screening for Eating Disorders

  • Do you fear being around food?
  • Obsess about dieting?
  • Feel out of control?
  • Want to get rid of calories?
  • Worry that you may be binge-eating?

Welcome to the on-line screening for eating disorders — a free and anonymous screening — that will help you find out, in a few minutes, if you have an eating disorder, whether or not professional consultation would be helpful, and links to sites that provide further information.

Take a moment and find out for yourself. Take the survey.

What Are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders include the following.

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder

They can be described as complex illnesses that have many of the following effects.

  • Result in extreme behaviors, thoughts and emotions about food, weight and shape
  • Result in distorted image of one's body
  • Affect both men and women with life-threatening consequences
  • Result from a combination of psychological, cultural and physiological factors

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Fear of weight gain
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Denial of hunger and refusal to eat
  • Excuses to avoid meals
  • Talk and/or think about food all the time
  • View of self as fat, even when very thin
  • Excessive or compulsive exercising
  • Depression and/or isolation
  • Menstrual periods stop or don't start

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Preoccupation with food and calories, body weight and shape
  • Secret eating and/or hoarding food
  • Feelings of being out of control
  • Bathroom trips immediately after eating
  • Eating enormous meals without weight gain
  • Binge eating, then purging by vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, fasting or diet pills

Binge Eating Disorder

  • Frequent and recurrent episodes of eating a large quantity of food in a short period of time
  • Eating rapidly and alone
  • Feeling out of control while eating
  • Compulsive eating can include agitation and a sense of desperation to the point of taking food from others, stealing from stores or eating discarded food. This can result in feelings of shame and guilt.

Disordered Eating

  • Less severe symptoms than eating disorders that include changes in eating patterns that can lead to weight loss or gain, obsession or focus on weight, and that can develop into an eating disorder.

On-campus resources

Klotz Student Health Center offers free peer nutrition counseling as well as free nutritional guidance from a registered dietician. Just call (818) 677-3666 for an appointment.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders affect over five million Americans each year. Between five and twenty percent will die from medical complications as a result.

Eating disorders interfere with a student's everyday functioning, including an inability to concentrate, study or complete academic work, difficulties with family and friends, feelings of isolation, depression or irritability and problems negotiating the transition to college. Eating disorders can also result in death — over 1,000 people die each year from eating disorders. It is for these reasons that it is so important to have eating disorders education and prevention programs presented on this campus.

In a CSUN study of over 1,000 students in fall 2010, the following results emerged.

  • 60 percent said they knew someone with an eating disorder
  • 28 percent said they had or have an eating disorder
  • 10 percent of those who reported having or having had an eating disorder were male
  • 90 percent of college students reported that they worry about body image

If you think you have an eating disorder or are concerned about someone you care about, you can call (818) 677-7500 for more information about JADE and up-to-date information and resources. You can also call University Counseling Services at (818) 677-2366 or (818) 677-7834 (TTY) for an appointment to discuss your concerns.

You may also find the following links helpful.

Be sure to check out these helpful articles offered by NEDA during the 2011 National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.