Eating disorders the taboo subject

Eating disorders are a very important topic among people of all walks of life, believes the Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating (JADE) peer educator who hopes to promote healthy body image and acceptance.

‘Eating disorders are so prevalent in society. There are so many people who struggle with it and don’t know what to do,’ said Allie Mojarradi, who believes the negative stigma attached to it hinders treatment.

An issue that is may be difficult to discuss and address, she said, because it’s taboo subject with it being associated with mental illness.

According to JADE, Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating, 60 percent of CSUN students know someone who has had an eating disorder at one time or another. In addition, 28 percent of CSUN students have or will have had an eating disorder, and almost one-third of them are males.

To bring awareness to eating disorders this upcoming week CSUN will be hosting its 13th Annual Eating Disorders Awareness week organized by JADE.

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, guest speaker Carolyn Costin will be presenting the documentary film ‘America the Beautiful’ in the USU. The film will run from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. and will highlight concerns of how beauty is measured and how it is defined in society for both men and women.

The EveryBody is Beautiful Fair will take place Monday, Feb. 23 in front of the library. The fair will be comprised of a diet maze, peer counselors, food, prizes and giveaways.

‘Mirror, Mirror: Body Image and the Media’ will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Sociology professor Melanie Klein will be the guest speaker and will address how pop culture and the media set the standard for the ideal beauty and body image and how we try to fit into this mold.

Karla Aragon, peer educator and spokeswoman for JADE said the first eating disorder was recorded around the 1400’s by a Catholic nun. While Aragon believes that eating disorders will always be around she sees hope.

She believes the solution must come from within. A person with an eating disorder must realize that they have a problem and can look to friends and family for support.’ There are also many outlets for help such as education, therapy and good nutrition.

Though there are many people trying to educate others about the issue of eating disorders, the first step must come from the sufferers themselves.

Emily Hagan, the JADE Graduate Assistant Coordinator, said, ‘It’s hard to say if it is getting better or worse because it’s a secretive problem and we don’t know how many students have eating disorders.’