In an effort to raise awareness about eating disorders during National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) week, Jennifer Culbert, Registered Dietitian of the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center teamed up with a group of multi-disciplinary local professionals at the “How to Help a Friend with an Eating Disorder” event held this past Tuesday, February 28th at Boston University. The event was organized in conjunction with the Panhellenic Council at the University.
Jennifer Culbert was joined on the panel by Dr. Jennifer Durham-Fowler, Associate Director of Outreach and Prevention Services at Boston University Student Health Services, Angela Kaloudis, Team Leader at The Renfrew Center, and Megan McIntire, Professional Relations Representative at The Renfrew Center.
The event included an overview of what eating disorders are and highlighted the signs and symptoms to look for in order to identify one. It also included a Q&A session with the panel. The speakers emphasized the importance of avoiding comments focused on weight or appearance.
“Individuals with eating disorders often initially receive compliments when they lose weight,” Jennifer Culbert explained. “Positive reinforcement can contribute to that person continuing to engage in dangerous eating, purging, or exercise patterns. You can’t tell if someone is losing weight through healthy or unhealthy means,” said Culbert.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association’s website, the purpose of Eating Disorder Awareness week is to “shine the spotlight on eating disorders and put life-saving resources into the hands of those in need.”
If you or anyone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, you can make an appointment with one of the Registered Dietitians at the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center (Phone: 617-353-2721).