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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW focuses on eating disorders

Jordan Irvin, advocacy coordinator for the Elisa Project, informed NW students on eating disorders March 24. Irvin described eating disorders as illnesses.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Jordan Irvin, advocacy coordinator for the Elisa Project, informed NW students on eating disorders March 24. Irvin described eating disorders as illnesses.

Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

By Aubrey Polk/ reporter

Jordan Irvin, advocacy coordinator for the Elisa Project, informed NW students on eating disorders March 24. Irvin described eating disorders as illnesses.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Jordan Irvin, advocacy coordinator for the Elisa Project, informed NW students on eating disorders March 24. Irvin described eating disorders as illnesses.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses, an advocacy coordinator for the Elisa Project told NW students March 24. 

“An eating disorder is an illness that is all about emotions,” Jordan Irvin said.

The main cause is body dissatisfaction, but other factors include high-risk environments, such as being an athlete or experiencing a dramatic experience. All of these aspects cause people to use food to compensate, Irvin said.

Eating disorders and disordered eating are two different topics, she said. An eating disorder is not all about the food but rather about the emotional, mental and psychological aspect. Disorderly eating is when one constantly intakes food for emotional reasons. Anorexia nervosa, binge eating and bulimia nervosa are three of the most common eating disorders.

“People, both men and women, feel the need to constantly change something about themselves when that is not the case at all,” she said.

People think they have to look a certain way or portray themselves a certain way. Therefore, to become that way they must diet. Irvin said about 95 percent of people who diet gain it back within one to three years. The diet industry alone is a $55.4 billion industry. Nutrition is good, she said, and all foods are beneficial in different aspects.

“Dieting throws off your metabolism,” she said.

Irving said many people want to know how to determine if they are healthy.

“Eat when you’re hungry,” she said. “Stop when you’re full. Honor your feelings without using food and reject the dieting mentality.”

Dieting is all about balance, variety and moderation, Irving said.

Both men and women view their bodies differently. Women think they have to be tall and skinny while men think they have to be tall and muscular, Irving said. About 91 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearances. One in five males say that their No. 1 concern in life is how they look. People are concerned with body image. Today, the average female is 5 feet 3 inches and 166 pounds while the average male is 5 feet 8 inches and 195.5 pounds. U.S. culture, family and friends have an influence over how people view themselves.

The Elisa Project reminds people that having an eating disorder is a serious issue that cannot go ignored. Everyone’s body is different, Irvin said. Bodies should be treated with respect and kindness. People should watch what they put in their bodies and be mindful of what their bodies are saying.

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