‘Body positive’ group raises eating disorder awareness

Meredith Webber, Staff Writer

Several events will be hosted on Samford’s campus this week in observance of National Eating Disorder Week. The events, which are sponsored by Samford Body Positive, will run from Feb. 26 to March 4.

Jessica Burleson, who is a senior nutrition and dietetics major as well as the founder and president of Samford Body Positive, said she learned about the importance of eating disorder awareness in her classes.

“As a student, I have noticed countless individuals struggle with body image,” Burleson said. “As my time continued at Samford, I saw a need on campus and wanted to meet this need. Everyone struggles with body image, myself included, so I think this is a cause anyone can benefit from.”

Doodle’s Italian Ice will be on campus on Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. in Ben Brown Plaza. According to Burleson, Samford Body Positive reached out to the community to provide support for the week’s events. Doodle’s contacted them excited to get involved because they also thought eating disorder awareness was an important cause, Burleson said.

Burleson said 10 percent of proceeds will go to the National Eating Disorders Association. According to its mission, NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.

“This disorder is significantly underfunded compared to other diseases and disorders, while affecting a large number of Americans,” Burleson said.

The week’s events will also include a free yoga class by a certified instructor in the community, as well as a convocation opportunity where attendees can hear testimonials and information from a registered dietician.

“The goal of Samford Body Positive is to change the stigma around eating disorders and to bring awareness to body image issues,” Burleson said. “In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men deal with some form of an eating disorder. Our main goal is to bring awareness to body image as everyone struggles with this issue, with emphasis on healthy eating and loving the body you are in.”

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