Eating disorders can happen to anyone. That’s why a panel discussion was formed at Bemidji State University to raise awareness about the issue. On the panel is a former athlete who shared her testimony during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Brittany Baker sits on the panel along with experts on eating disorders. Among the counselor, dietician, and psychologist, Baker’s voice stood out because Baker is a bulimic survive. Baker was a NCAA All American. She shared her struggles during college to a room packed with students, many of them BSU athletes.
College students need to be more disciplined when it comes to eating because when they leave home, they have more freedom to eat what they want when they want it. Especially for college athletes, perfection in body image and performance can lead to issues with control.
Experts say eating disorders lead to malnutrition and cardiac issues that can cause death. Men and women who have an eating disorder are also at high risk of suicide. Obsession with food and exercise, sudden change in weight, and mood swings are some of the red flags for eating disorders. For those who know someone who has these problems, experts say a gentle approach is the best way. Out of all the eating disorders, experts say bulimia is the most common.
For several years, Baker had to drive 2 and 1/2 hours to Fargo for treatment. Although there are not very many help centers in the Bemidji area, Baker says use the resources you do have at hand like confining in a close friend or mentor.