The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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JADE warns about eating disorders

Mind, Body and Spirit Week, a series of eating-disorder-awareness events that started Feb. 22, will finish up Feb. 28 as part of an effort by an on-campus group to educate the CSUN community.

Lectures by author Leigh Cohen opened the the week. The event was sponsored for the 11th year by CSUN’s Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating.

Eating disorders are not just women’s problems, said Cohen, author of “Making Weight-Men’s Concerns with Food, Weight, and Appearance,” and the first speaker at the JADE week event.

Cohen said, though eating disorders are widely perceived to be an issue that affects women, more and more men are also suffering from these problems. He said in the last decade men have become obsessed with losing weight and following diets that can lead to eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia.

Cohen said the idea to lose weight in order to be accepted in this society is a product of images produced by the media through television and magazines.

Ellen Mayer, coordinator of JADE and a University Counseling Services counselor, said eating disorders are now affecting men in ever greater numbers.

“We see more people who have eating disorders, men, women, people of every ethnicity,” she said.

Mayer said she believes young students away from home are more susceptible to eating disorders.

“College students are especially vulnerable, because they have academic problems, stress, work, family problems,” Mayer said. “Eating disorders have an underlining cause of stress and family problems.”

JADE events are meant to promote a healthy life, positive life image and provide information resources, Mayer said.

Mayer said students who attend these events benefit by learning the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and can prevent problems from becoming serious, she said.

University counseling services offers free confidential counseling to students who need help with eating disorders.

Areli Hernandez, junior psychology major and JADE peer mentor, said these events are purposely organized to inform students about issues they don’t know about.

“I think (it’s) important to a lot of the students, that there is an eating disorder, or that it can develop,” Hernandez said. The JADE program can prevent students from an eating disorder problem before hurting themselves.

Reflect on “What’s Real” was the second event on Feb. 23, an open air event on the Sierra Lawn consisting of an art exhibit with painted mirrors with messages written on them.

The mirrors had messages written on them such as “to accept and love your body image”, “not to dislike your body” and “It’s not what’s on scale but what’s on the inside that count! Love yourself,” and others said, “eat-binge-purge.”

Danielle Shea, a senior nutritionist and dietetics major and JADE member, said the event is about education and eating disorder prevention.

Freshmen often tend to have eating disorder problems because they are adapting to a new lifestyle, Shea said.

“I think is very important (that students learn about eating disorders) because it cannot only affect themselves but their friends,” she said. “having the knowledge now, it can prevent a lot (later).”

Gabriela Gonzalez can be reached at

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