Central New York, Education, Health

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is Important for College Students

Kayla is happier and healthier than she has ever been. (c) 2017 Georgiana Volturo

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National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is Important for College Students

Freshman year is hard, but it's even harder for students with eating disorders.

By Georgiana Volturo SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Syracuse University Freshman Kayla Mattocks has lost 11 pounds so far this year, which wouldn’t be a subject of concern, if not for the fact that she struggles with an eating disorder. As a new college student, and a musical theater major, body image is often on Kayla’s mind. With newfound independence, it’s also difficult to monitor her diet on her own.

“My mom does keep an eye on what I eat, and being here, I don’t have anyone to do that,” said Mattocks, “so if I did skip a meal, no one would know.”

However, the most challenging years of Kayla’s disorder are behind her, as both her physical and mental health are much better than they were in the past. Still, she is mindful of the fact that this disorder can impact her life as she tries to find a balance between staying healthy and obsessing too much over her diet.

As someone who has received and still receives treatment, Kayla knows that it can be difficult to help someone who you think may be struggling with an eating disorder.

“You shouldn’t just tell the person to eat, cause it’s not going to help, it really is a mental thing,” said Mattocks.

As Syracuse University takes part in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, hopefully these sorts of issues will be much more understood so that people like Kayla can get the help and support they need.