Many students at URI, both women and men, feel uncomfortable with the way their bodies look and try to find ways to make themselves conform more closely to stereotypes of what is currently considered attractive in our culture. In the process, people can become obsessed with their body image, and can get involved in attempts to lose weight and/or bulk up that can be harmful to their health, including eating disorders and use of dangerous substances such as steroids.
The Counseling Center offers individual counseling to help people who have questions or concerns about these issues. Each February we also co-sponsor the “Celebration of Natural Body Types,” a series of events helping people to accept and enjoy their natural body types. We also co-teach a one-credit course on eating problems each fall, HDF 298 F.
If you are concerned that you might have an eating disorder, or spend too much of your time and energy worrying about your appearance, you may wish to:
- Access the brief, confidential screening instrument that can be found at this site under “Self Assessment.”
- Arrange to see one of the URI professionals who is knowledgeable about these issues, including:
– Physicians and nurse practitioners at Health Services, 401.874.2246
– Nutritionist at Health Education, 401.874.5954
– Therapists at the Counseling Center, 401.874.2288
- Visit www.gurze.com, a web site that offers excellent books on eating and body image issues, presents information about these issues, and provides links to other good sites.
If you are worried about a friend who might have an eating disorder, you can consult with one of the professionals at the Counseling Center to discuss how you might help the person.