There are countless organizations and teams out there working to raise money and awareness for all sorts of diseases and disabilities. What many people often forget is that eating disorders are amongst these diseases.
Millions of Americans struggle with eating disorders. Whether it be anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), these disorders are harmful and should be taken seriously.
Students at the University of Maryland have decided to step up, put on their sneakers and make a difference. Two UMD Greek organizations, Zeta Psi and Zeta Tau Alpha, are co-hosting a walk to raise money for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and spread awareness about eating disorders in the community. The walk will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 on the McKeldin Mall. Check-in time is 9:30 a.m. and the walk will be from 10 - 11 a.m. The overall goal is to raise $5,000 for NEDA, but of course exceeding the goal would be ideal.
According to Zeta Psi member Lucas Jennings, the walk will be a non-competitive event. Participants will collect donations and walk in support of eating disorders awareness.
Jennings stressed that “in spite of the unprecedented growth in the past two decades, eating disorders research continues to be underfunded, insurance coverage for treatment is inadequate, and societal pressures to be thin remain rampant.”
The college environment can be a tough environment to live in due to constant thoughts about body image. Students are faced with endless decisions involving food and alcohol and are also dealing with a lot of stress and time management between classes and work. These experiences and exposures can make it difficult to avoid bad habits that can eventually lead to eating disorders.
According to Tara McVey, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, “this is a great event for our community to participate in because young adults are often the ones who struggle with eating disorders. We all know someone who has been effected by one of these diseases.”
The fight to beat these disorders is a difficult one, but it is amazing what people can do when they join together to support those who are in need and raise awareness. Together, the students at UMD can make an enormous difference. Visit nedawalks.org/collegepark2012 for more information.