University Counseling Services (UCS) is the sponsor of Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating (JADE), a peer education program dedicated to the awareness around body image and to the prevention of eating disorders. Student peer educators receive extensive training in understanding the various intersecting factors that contribute to the development of poor body image and disordered eating and in recognizing and articulating causes, symptoms, treatment and referral sources as they prepare to present this information to classes, clubs and organizations on the CSUN campus. In addition, they teach students how to help their friends and encourage body image acceptance.
JADE hosts campus-wide programming each winter as part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW).
As part of this project, peer educators develop public speaking, communication and leadership skills.
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 disordered eating — a free and anonymous screening — that will help you find out, in a few minutes, if your eating habits and behaviors place you at risk for 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?
Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder (ANAD, 2017).
20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.
In a 2018 national health assessment with a sample of 1000 LGBTQIA+ youth, 54% disclosed that they have been diagnosed with a clinical eating disorder (NEDAW, 2018).
Binge eating is the most prevalent eating disorder among African American women.
Transgender college students are over 4x more likely to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, and have 2x greater risk of eating disorder symptoms such as purging compared to their cisgender female peers (Journal of Adolescent Health, 2015).
Eating disorders are real complex medical and psychiatric illnesses that can have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships. They are caused by both genetic and environmental factors (NEDAW, 2015).
Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and OSFED (other specified feeding or eating disorder), are bio-psycho-social-diseases - not fads, phases or lifestyle choices.
People struggling with an eating disorder often become obsessed with food, body image and/or weight. These disorders can be life threatening if not recognized and treated appropriately. The earlier a person receives treatment, the greater the likelihood of recovery.
Additionally, eating disorders:
- Result in extreme behaviors, thoughts and emotions about food, weight and shape
- Result in distorted image of one's body
- Affect all genders with life-threatening consequences
- Result from a combination of psychological, cultural and physiological factors
- 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
- 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.
- Less severe symptoms that may include: changes in eating patterns; weight loss or gain; obsession or focus on weight; disruption in body image. Without intervention, these symptoms can sometimes develop into an eating disorder.
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, option 1 during regular office hours for an appointment to discuss your concerns. University Counseling Services also provides urgent care services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year long. To connect with a crisis counselor during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8AM - 5PM) call (818) 677-2366, Option 1. Outside of business hours, including holidays, call (818)677-2366, Option 3 to speak with a crisis counselor.
Klotz Student Health Center offers free peer nutrition counseling as well as free nutritional guidance from a registered dietitian. Call (818) 677-3666 for an appointment.
The Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition, and Dietetics has Nutrition Experts who provide students with evidence-based nutrition information, services, and resources. The Nutrition Experts also provide nutrition education, referrals to trusted community resources, and nutritious recipes to all CSUN students, including student athletes, students who are parents, and students during times of stress, to ensure they are receiving proper nutrition for themselves and their families. Call (818) 677-3102 or contact via email. The Marilyn Magaram Center also maintains a map of free food available on the CSUN campus.
How to Help a Friend
Plan a private, uninterrupted time and place to start a discussion.
Communicate your intention to listen and listen openly and reflectively.
Express your concern while avoiding labels (do not label a friend with a diagnosis such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge-Eating disorder, only a qualified professional can make a diagnosis).
Be prepared to offer support and resources when your friend wants to talk about their concerns.
Promote a Body-Positive and Weight-Neutral culture among your friends and in your communities*:
- Avoid diet/weight talk
- Avoid body policing (criticizing appearance – yourself or others)
- Avoid food shaming (judging food options or eating habits of yourself or others)
- Avoid providing advice about health to others unless specifically asked
- Avoid reinforcing gender norms
- Embrace all bodies, abilities, and genders
*adapted from Nalgona Positivity Pride.