National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDAwareness) Week is coming to an end on March 2, 2013, but two recent surveys demonstrate the ongoing work that is still needed to help prevent and treat eating disorders.
The National Eating Disorders Association recently released the results for the Collegiate Survey Project. The survey found that due to the increasing percent of college students struggling with eating disorders, there is a need for more funding and resources on college campuses for eating disorder services.
The respondents in the survey are “campus service provider representatives” from 165 colleges and universities.
Survey results did show that educational information, such as websites and pamphlets, are available on many campuses and most campuses have workshops or prevention efforts related to eating disorders at least once or twice a year.
However, there is room for growth. For example, campuses that do have education campaigns for the most part have no evidence of the campaigns’ actual success in helping people at risk for or suffering from eating disorders.
In addition, less than half of the universities surveyed offer eating disorder screenings once a year or semester. Only 22.4 percent offer year-round screenings. Screenings can help cut the time students suffer from eating disorders.
There is also a major lack of training and education opportunities for individuals who are in a position to help in eating disorder treatment and prevention, such as dieticians, advisors and fitness instructors.
There are limited resources for athletes at risk for eating disorders as well. For more survey results, view the links in the sources section.
The Renfrew Center Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports eating disorder education, prevention and treatment, also released a survey recently as part of its “Barefaced & Beautiful, Without & Within” campaign during NEDAwareness Week.
The survey focused on how girls ages 8-18 feel when they wear makeup or go without it. The online survey conducted in December 2012 had 572 U.S. participants.