Dangers of Eating Disorders Among Students
Eating disorders among students are increasing in number with one in 100 women between ages 15 and 30 suffering. The most common age for women to have an eating disorder is between 15 and 25 years, suggesting a great majority of tthose are students.
It's not just females who suffer with eating disorders, as there has been a 66 percent increase in the number of men hospitalized with such over the last decade. Eating disorders in men are more likely to occur between the ages of 14 and 25-years, once again within that 'student' range. However, many students find it hard to spot these disorders, according to a report published by the University of Cincinnati last year. Students often fail to recognize the signs that one of their friends may be suffering from an eating disorder, instead, overlook it as a vanity issue.
Professor Andrew Hill, chartered psychologist from the University of Leeds, said: "Several of the attitudes and behaviours characteristic of disordered eating are commonplace in the lives of young women. So, being overly concerned with body weight, shape and eating, dieting, refusing to eat certain foods, alternating fasting with episodes of overeating and regularly exercising do not seem out of place." These are just some of the signs to look out for among students who may have an eating disorder. Others include losing five per cent of their body weight in just a month, excessive exercising, excuses not to eat meals and mood swings.
Why are eating disorders dangerous? It is important to detect these signs and encourage a loved one to seek help if you think they are dealing with an eating disorder because they can damage their mental and physical health. A recent news story highlights the dangers of suffering with an eating disorder at any age but in particular as a student.
On October 4th, the results of an inquest into the death of promising student Melanie Christine Scheen were published. The 19-year-old had a history of eating disorders, which had put her body under pressure due to her rapid weight loss. As a result, her body could not cope with taking an antidepressant that had been prescribed to the modern languages student in her native country of Switzerland. When she returned to Roehampton University for the autumn term, she died from an overdose.Continued on the next page