As Easy As Pie: Eating Disorders and You

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It’s no secret that people of all ages are suffering from eating disorders; in fact it’s been the joke of most TV show dramas, comedy and reality television. Yes, us as the millennial generation enjoy watching shows where people eat things like cotton balls and soap instead of food. What is sometimes forgotten is these things are real and people do actually suffer from their effects.

There is no denying disorders such as these take a toll on your health. The Webster definition of disorder is “to disturb the regular or normal functions of” meaning an eating disorder disturbs the normal way of how you eat or what you eat. Dr. Mindy Haar Director of Program Development for Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and Director of Clinical Nutrition stated in an interview, “Eating disorders are very complex and the ways to distinguish if someone you know has an eating disorder aren’t easy.”

Thankfully, campuses across the country highlight issues such as these to college students and do their best to promote the issues in a positive way. NYIT promoted Eating Disorders Week from Feb. 21 to 27 in an effort to unmask the truths of eating disorders. Dr. Mindy Haar explains, “In order to receive help for these eating disorders it’s important to seek help early and know eating disorders can sometimes also be involved with mental health issues.”

Francesca Sanon, in the MTV True Life episode “I Have A Dangerous Eating Disorder” speaks in an interview on her disorder called pica. Pica as defined by Webster is “ an abnormal desire to eat substances (as chalk or ashes) not normally eaten.” This disorder explained by Everyday Health states “people with pica simply desire a specific texture in their mouth” and usually effects young children and women in their first trimester of pregnancy. “I’ve had it for a long time and I never knew it was a disorder until I did the MTV show,” Francesca admits. While the show voiced her eating disorder, many teens are embarrassed to confess to their families and loved ones they have an eating disorder. When having a family intervention its important to let your loved one know ‘the reason there is concern is because of what we see.’ Dr. Haar continues. Francesca does both on national television, noticing an increase in the people she called friends.

Though ultimately eating disorders are not defined as normal or regular, they aren’t the person’s fault. “I stopped blaming myself,” Francesca says. There are a number of people willing to help and listen whenever you are ready to speak out. Dr. Haar clarifies, “ when seeking help there are three key parts: the psychological state, the nutrition and the calorie intake. Long Island Jewish has a residence program for eating disorders.” Also, NYIT’s Health and Wellness office is open nine to five, Monday through Friday on the second floor of Harry Shure Hall.

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Eating Disorders and National Eating Disorders Association have hotlines waiting to help. All of these resources are available to “help you function as an adult so you have a ‘toolbox’ of health ways of dealing with life’s stressful problems.” Dr. Haar admits. Usually with most mental health disorders and eating disorders, the person involved may not be dealing with situations directly, causing stress and other problems.

As a way to battle these issues expressed by those facing eating disorders, awareness is at an all time high and nutritionist such as Dr. Haar are willing to help. In Francesca’s case, years went by before she sought help and her addiction became worse There is still convince and bravery in addressing her disorder on national television. Sometimes the bravest action you can take is revealing your disorder/addiction to your immediate friends and family, they care for you the most.




National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Eating Disorders


10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday


National Eating Disorders Association


9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday

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As Easy As Pie: Eating Disorders and You