2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

EDUA 5545 Eating and Exercise Disorders

Recent surveys have found that in our current society, more than 80% of young women and 40% of young men are dissatisfied with their bodies. The pressure to achieve cultural body image ideals starts as early as six years old, and some of the most dangerous consequences of this pressure are eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, as well as exercise or "activity" disorders. Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness and in the case of anorexia, prolonged starvation can cause a number of dangerous medical conditions, including anemia, early onset osteoporosis, low blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney and liver damage, and ultimately heart failure.

This course aims to help the teacher recognize the signs that a student – female or male – may be at risk for, or suffering from, an eating or exercise disorder. For these children and teens, early detection is the key to reversing the cycle of self-loathing, the need for control through weight loss or excessive exercise, and the relentless drive for "perfection." After taking the course, the teacher will understand the causes and symptoms of eating and exercise disorders and how to help students establish a healthy body image and a positive relationship toward food and exercise.