NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

CMU Students Raise Awareness For Eating Disorders


The National Institute of Mental Health lists ages 18-21 as the median age of onset for eating disorders. That’s the same time many in the age group find themselves attending college. At Central Michigan University some students are joining a national movement this week to raise awareness on eating disorders.

This is not the first year the Student Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics has hosted events for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, but this year the group says it aims to make the events some of the most accessible and inclusive yet.

Shelby Brown is on the executive staff for the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and is in charge of organizing the events for the week. She said in the past awareness week events have featured speakers and have had a primarily educational focus, this year she has changed that.

She said, “It’s ‘come as you are hindsight is 2020’, I just wanted to make it more body positive and like come as you are, that’s why we’re doing the photoshoot, that’s why we’re doing expressive painting, you just gotta be you and have fun.”

Brown said with the more expressive and more open-ended events, the week is a chance for students to learn about eating disorders in a more relaxed environment. She says she doubts students would want to sit through something that just feels like another class-- especially with next week being finals week.

She said, “It’s right before spring break so I’m sure that everybody’s taking exams and stuff so it’s a good way to just chill out.”

Brown says she hopes the more laid back style will help engage students in a more organic way and spark genuine conversations on the difficult topic of eating disorders. With the events she aims to clear up misconceptions about eating disorders when it comes to the different kinds as well as the people who suffer from them, emphasizing that it isn’t just one body type or gender.