Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790




Cedar Crest College Holds Seminar to Raise Campus Awareness

Allentown, PA ( February 28, 2006) - As many as 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. are battling eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, while another 25 million suffer from binge eating disorder. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is sponsoring its 19th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW) in communities across the nation, February 26 – March 4, 2006, to bring awareness to the life-threatening issues surrounding eating disorders and to urge individuals in their communities to Be Comfortable In Your Genes.

To bring the message to fellow students, the Psychology Club at Cedar Crest is sponsoring a seminar on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 5:00 p.m. in the Tompkins College Center, Alcove A. The seminar will include presentations about how women's body image has been distorted by various types of media, specific physical effects of anorexia and bulimia and personal experience. As part of the ongoing effort the club will also sell lavender awareness bracelets, the proceeds from which go directly to NEDA.

"As a women's college, we have a special obligation to raise awareness of issues like eating disorders that predominantly affect women," says Erica Moser, a senior psychology major and organizer of the seminar. "It's important for young women to understand these disorders and the serious consequences they can have."

Eating disorders are illnesses with a biological basis modified and influenced by emotional and cultural factors. The peak onset of eating disorders occurs during puberty and the late teen/early adult years, but symptoms can occur as young as kindergarten. Eating disorders affect people from all walks of life, including young children, middle-aged women and men and individuals of all races and ethnicities.

"What we've discovered recently is that eating disorders are a learned phenomenon. A person is not born with an eating disorder. Rather, those affected learn this behavior through depictions in the media, advertising and subtle messages in their environment," says Dr. Micah Sadigh, assistant professor of psychology at Cedar Crest. "The only way to combat this issue is through greater awareness and education of how to prevent those at risk from these ultimately destructive messages."

This is the second year that Cedar Crest is participating in NEDWA. The Psychology Club was inspired to put together a program by a student member who has been battling an eating disorder for more than seven years.

About NEDA

The National Eating Disorders Association (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org), headquartered in Seattle, Wash., is the largest not-for-profit organization in the country dedicated to supporting research for the prevention, treatment and cure of eating disorders; supporting state legislative and advocacy efforts for access to treatment; expanding public education and awareness of eating disorders; promoting access and providing referrals to quality treatment for those affected; and providing support for their loved ones.

For more information, contact the College Relations Office at 610.740.3790.


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