Eating Disorders on Campus

Eating Disorders on CampusAccording to the Eating Disorder Foundation 31% of female college students currently struggle with an eating disorder. Many of these eating disorders began during students’ teen years, where more than 27% of girls currently display symptoms of bulimia or anorexia. As these problems continue to grow, many factors are surfacing that contribute to this devastating issue.

What Causes Eating Disorders on College Campuses?

With everything from magazine covers to social media, several outlets can severely impact how college students view themselves. The following factors can greatly influence someone’s chances to develop an eating disorder:

  • Hollywood – Still one of the biggest driving forces behind many eating disorders, Hollywood and the praise given to slim actresses can subconsciously pressure many young women to be thin. Despite the recent success of curvy celebrities, the undertone of being beautiful is having the body to match. Striving to resemble women on TV can lead college students to develop an eating disorder.
  • Social media- Various media outlets have caused many mental issues for young adults and teens across the country. Many people have committed suicide based on derogatory comments on these websites, and many have suffered other mental health issues as well. A popular feature of these sites is looking at people’s pictures, and many young people post attractive pictures of themselves for praise. Like a modern day ranking system, this aspect encourages people to compare themselves with others not only socially, but also physically.
  • Acceptance – When young adults go off to college, one of the main concerns is if they will fit in. Striving to make a name for themselves, some people may do things they would have never done before just to gain acceptance from their peers. For someone who struggles with his appearance, weight may be one of his biggest concerns. This may prompt him to starve himself, regurgitate meals or even binge eat in hopes of bulking up.

While there is no way to determine what specifically causes the many eating disorders on college campuses, it is definitely up for speculation. As various sources project an image of how young adults should look, the pressures put on college students can become unbearable to where they take matters into their own hands through eating disorders.

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