The National Eating Disorders Associations estimates that between 10 and 20% of college women, and 4 to 10% of college men are suffer from an eating disorder. Below is a list of eating disorder symptoms. You may also check out the screening tools from the National Eating Disorders Association or the Eating Attitudes Test to help determine if you may need additional support. If you identify with one or more of the symptoms listed below, please contact K-state Counseling Services or Lafene Health Center (LHC) to schedule an appointment to assess your symptoms. Counseling Services and LHC’s medical and dietetics staff have partnered together to coordinate care and resources for Student with eating disorder symptoms. You may find more information about this in our Help for Disordered Eating brochure. Counseling Services cannot provide treatment for students with moderate to severe eating disorders but will help you get connected to a community provider or treatment facility, if this is necessary.
Many people associate eating disorders with looking too thin, but this is not always the case. Often people struggling with eating disorders are not underweight. If you or someone you know can identify with these symptoms, seek help. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder. Below are some other warning signs that are descriptive of disordered eating behavior.
- Preoccupation with weight, food, calories and dieting
- Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food
- Frequent comments about feeling “fat”
- Anxiety about weight gain or being “fat”
- Denial of hunger
- Dramatic weight loss
- Development of food rituals
- Consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food
- Hiding food
- Eating food and spitting it out
- Feeling compelled to compensate in some way after eating
- Excessive, rigid exercise regimens—despite weather, fatigue, illness or injury
- Withdrawal from usual friends and activities
- Evidence of binge eating, including the disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time
- Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs or smells of vomiting, and the presence of laxatives
- Unusual swelling of cheeks or jaw area from vomiting
- Calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles from self-induced vomiting
- Discoloration or staining of the teeth
- Creation of lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge and purge sessions
- Cold intolerance
- Withdrawal from friends and activities
- Negative self-talk about body image
- Low blood sugar
- Low bone density
- Fragile skin and hair
- Anorexia Nervosa is one of the most serious mental health conditions leading to death, often by medical complications or suicide.
If you or someone you know identifies with any of these symptoms, please contact Lafene Health Center for a health assessment at 785-532-6544, or Counseling Services for an intake at 785-532-6927.