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Concordia College faculty and staff speak about Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Concordia College faculty and staff speak out on the importance of dispelling misconceptions, sharing resources, and empowering self-help practices during Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

"One misconception is that only middle- or upper-income white females develop eating disorders. In the U.S., boys, men, and nonbinary people, as well as members of diverse socioeconomic classes struggle. I have found it helpful to see eating disorders as strategies for dealing with suffering — strategies that end up exacerbating the pain they are meant to alleviate."

Dr. Michelle M. Lelwica, professor of religion, women's and gender studies, pre-law

Dr. Michelle M. Lelwica

"Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who uplift and encourage you. Limit your exposure to negative influences, such as social media accounts that promote unrealistic beauty standards or a partner that makes unhelpful comments about your body. Challenge negative thoughts and remind yourself of your inherent worth beyond physical appearance."

Heather Simonich, director of the Center for Holistic Health

"Eating disorders are never a choice. Diagnosed and undiagnosed eating disorders are prevalent in our community, especially on campus, and tend to be hidden in plain sight. This week sheds light and brings hope to those who are currently struggling or may even be unaware of their relationship with food."

Kaylee A. Juntunen, registered dietitian nutritionist

"The goal is to raise awareness, both about eating disorders and about the resources available. There are resources available on campus and throughout the Fargo/Moorhead community. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out regarding any questions or concerns you may have."

Dr. Meredith G. Wagner, director of graduate and post-baccalaureate education; chair and associate professor of nutrition, dietetics, and exercise science

Help is available and more information can be found at The National Eating Disorders Association.