If you sign on to Facebook right now, chances are one in every two girls you see is battling an eating disorder.
MORE to ME, a new movement dedicated to promoting healthy body image, has conducted research that shows 40 percent of college women in the United States are affected by an eating disorder. This works out to be half the women on Facebook, according to a campus campaign.
With February being National Eating Disorder Awareness Month, the MORE to ME initiative, which aims to change the way women view themselves, has started the first ever online petition that supports the funding of body image programs in schools.
“If you look at the statistics, eating disorders are manifested in high school and college age populations and a lot of the risk factors have to do with things that happen at a younger age,” said Sarah Silverman, a freshman who is the program manager of MORE to ME.
According to the MORE to ME official website, 80 percent of fourth grade girls have been on a fad diet and 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. The program wants to implement body image programs in schools to help girls cultivate positive body images and self-esteem at a young age.
“By incorporating programming around how to have a healthier body image and self appreciation, you’re helping younger girls develop a strong sense of self which will prevent them from developing an eating disorder later down the road,” Silverman said.
MORE to ME also targets the college-age demographic through Facebook and MySpace. The program has created a Facebook application, as well as badges students can put on their MySpace pages, Web pages and blogs.
Although the program is relatively new, MORE to ME is continually developing. Silverman said she is looking into adding a role model gallery featuring “women that aren’t typically depicted in the media, such as professors, athletes and lawyers.”
To find more information on the MORE to ME program and sign the MORE to ME declaration, visit moretome.org. If you or a friend is struggling with an eating disorder visit the Counseling Center located in building 21-R, across the street from the Student Health Center.
Kendall Sale may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.