by Ben Smart, Campus RecreationThere’s something new happening right now at UNC. From February 23rd to March 1st, UNC is celebrating NEDAwareness Week.
The mission of NEDAwareness week is to raise awareness of and to prevent eating disorders and negative body image issues. In short, this week is all about maintaining a positive mindset towards your body. There are several events each day, so make time this week to learn more about these issues, but more importantly – to learn more about yourself.
Event schedule for NEDAwareness week (February 23rd – March 1st):
- All day – Mirrors will be covered in the SRC for “Mirrorless Mondays”
- 12-1:30 pm – Chobani samples will be available at Lenoir Mainstreet
- 6:30-7:30 pm – “Smoothin’ Out the Psyche,” a presentation on body image and healthy eating habits will be featured in Ehringhaus
- 8 pm – A candle light service featuring acapella groups and speakers will take place in the Pit
- 6-7 pm – Lenoir Hall will host a healthy cooking demonstration
- 7-8 pm – Body kind yoga will take place in the SRC
Come see us at our tables to learn more about how our bodies are truly beautiful!:
- Everyday from 4-7 pm in the SRC
- Monday & Wednesday from 10 am-2 pm in the Pit
Why is this week so important? Let’s look at the facts. An estimated 24 million Americans of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. Furthermore, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. For the health and sanity of our friends and neighbors, the events this week are of paramount importance.
I spoke with Colleen Daly, fitness instructor and positive body image advocate, about NEDAwareness Week. “I love NEDAW because it brings an issue to light that is extremely important and all too often falls to the wayside,” said Colleen. In the past, Colleen has been front and center as a motivator for students struggling with body image issues, leading groups like Embody Carolina. “My role in this week’s program has primarily been connecting departments, brainstorming ideas, gathering and organizing materials, and planning events with the embody team,” Colleen explained. It’s important to realize that NEDAwareness week is beneficial to everyone, not just those suffering from negative body image. “Sometimes we can’t understand what others are going through – eating disorders are no exception. In order to be an effective ally, we have to acknowledge the problem and utilize the resources that are available.” Colleen is right – these issues deserve our attention to help the millions who are suffering.
Set aside time this week and go to several events for NEDAwareness. If you are busy – pick just one. Chances are, you will learn something. Not to mention, someone you know may be suffering from an eating disorder. Be an ally.
Join the conversation at #UNCbodybeautiful
image courtesy of Embody Carolina