Students commonly face many eating disorders while in college leading to health complications such as anorexia and bulimia. There are various reasons why students feel the pressure to alter their eating patterns. Pressures to look good, exposure to media where models & actors are projected extremely thin and peer pressure makes students think that ‘the thinner the better’. Sometimes, a sudden burden of college studies may be reason for affected eating patterns.
The shift from high school to college is rapid and impactful but students should understand that not all kids from the same high school land in the same college. Popular kids are dispersed after high school whereby all students in college come from different backgrounds and status. In fact, they start from a basic level where all are equal. Students have to realize this to remove unnecessary peer pressure.
Eating disorders are not easily identifiable since the student itself does not understand that he/she is affected. So its up to the roommates or friends to diagnose the disorder in your friend.
Anorexic sufferers tend to wear loose, baggy clothes because they want to hide their losing weight under layers of clothing. Also, they want to avoid eyes who will judge them on their weight.
Recent Anorexic sufferers lose weight rather quickly, so its easy to tell students suffering from eating disorders. Moreover, such students tend to be fussy about their food, eating very little and drinking more water or chewing gum all the time.
A similar eating disorder is Bulimia, where students purge after consuming food. Students who face tremendous acceptance problems or feel the need of acceptance generally go through Bulimia. A major difference between Bulimia and Anorexia is that anorexic patients tend to eat very little while bulimic eat properly.
Friends should try to talk through students affected by eating disorders by asking them and offering help to resolve their problems. If you feel the situation is getting worse, contact the college nurse or doctor.