UNH Looks to Improve Body Image with Eating Concerns Awareness Week

As college students everyone knows the struggles of body image issues, whether dealing with them yourself or watching a friend go through them. Health Services understands this, and with the help of Eating Concerns Mentors (ECMs) it is holding its annual Eating Concerns Awareness Week (ECAW) this week.

Each day of the week will have a different theme with activities focused around it. For the entirety of the week though, there will be a “Love the Jeans You’re In” project which inspires girls to donate jeans that are too small for them. Also, all of the fitness classes at campus rec will have body positive themes.

Maria Caplan, the nutrition educator at Health Services, oversees the ECMs and the planning of ECAW.

“Being at UNH and having this program is really special,” Caplan said. “Only a handful of colleges have this program.”

Caplan (second from left) with some of UNH's Eating Concern Mentors.

Caplan hopes that girls (and guys!) will take advantage of the resources that UNH and Health Services offer for people struggling with eating concerns and body image issues. Caplan said that 25 percent of college students have eating concerns and that even more are in what she calls “the gray area,” which is when people are facing eating issues but aren’t diagnosed with a disorder.

Whether you have an eating concern yourself, or you’re looking to boost your self-esteem, ECAW has activities that can benefit anyone. While more information can be found on the Health Services website, the days of the week are scheduled as follows: Monday – “Mindful Monday,” Tuesday – “Trash negative Body Talk,” Wednesday – “Who Inspires You,” Thursday – “Heart Your Parts,” and Friday “Fabulous Friday.” The ECMs can be found tabling around the MUB and at Campus Rec all week as they hold these activities and inspire UNH students to live happier and healthier lives.