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Video: Unhealthy dieting trends could lead to an eating disorder

Thursday, March 13, 2014



MANHATTAN — It's not unusual for students to crash diet before spring break to get that fit bikini body, but what seems like a one-time fix could lead to a lifelong obsession.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder; the number of cases has been increasing for about 60 years. The most susceptible group is 18- and 19-year-old college women. Dianna Schalles, registered dietitian at Kansas State University's Lafene Health Center and adviser for the Sensible Nutrition And body image Choices program, or SNAC, says students often develop eating disorders in college because it is such a big adjustment in their lives.

"Some students turn to unhealthy eating and exercise as a way to regain control in their lives," Schalles said. "Students also fear the 'freshman 15,' when in reality, we know that the average weight gain is only three to four pounds in the first year — and a lot of times that can be due to muscle mass because they're more active on campus."

When it comes to eating disorders, most people think of anorexia or bulimia, but they come in all different forms.

"Eating disorders, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. And a lot of people know about anorexia and bulimia and binge eating disorder, but it can also show up as compulsive exercise or just an obsession with health eating and clean or trendy diets," Schalles said. "So it's important to know that and reach out and seek help."

The warning signs of an eating disorder are weight gain or loss, abnormal eating habits, an intense preoccupation with weight and body image, mood swings, depression and/or irritability. To get help, contact Lafene at 785-532-6544 or take an online screening test.

Accessing KSVN video

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Written by

Lindsey Elliott

At a glance

The number of people with eating disorders has been increasing for 60 years. Registered dietitian explains who is at risk.