Problems and Mental Health Topics

Disordered Eating

What about Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight.

How do you feel about your body? If you are like many men and women on Chabot's campus and other college campuses, you may not be happy with it. In the 1990's, the media has defined the perfect body as slender. Unfortunately, many individuals, (especially women) accept the message that in order to be happy, accepted and problem-free, one must have the perfect body. They often start out with a diet and before they know it, they are either engaging in eating-disordered behavior or have developed an eating disorder. Eating disorders† are a problem on the Chabot College campus that cannot be ignored.

Men are also becoming dissatisfied with their bodies: they want to be more muscular and leaner, and they are taking unhealthy means to accomplish that. (A book entitled entitled "The Adonis Complex" provides more information†on the Men's issues topic.)

Eating is controlled by many factors, including appetite, food availability, family, peer, and cultural practices, and attempts at voluntary control. Dieting to a body weight leaner than needed for health is highly promoted by current fashion trends, in†campaigns for special foods, and in some activities and professions. Researchers are investigating how and why initially voluntary behaviors, such as eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, at some point is beyond control in some people and develop into an eating disorder.†

Eating disorders are not due to a failure of will or behavior; rather, they are real, treatable medical illnesses in which maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own.†The main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.† The eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood;†reports†indicate†onset can occur during childhood or later adulthood.

The Chabot Student Health Center Nurse Practitioner can discuss any dietary or nutritional concerns you may have and provide community referrals if needed. The Mental Health Counselor/Intern can provide counseling and consultation meetings to assist you in assessing your personal situation.

More information on†Eating Disorders
Other Mental Health Topics
Campus Mental Health Appointments and Services

If you have questions regarding this information please contact ValJeŠn Dale, LMFT, Chabot College Mental Health Clinical Supervisor or call (510) 723-6615.