Colleges face an ever growing problem when it comes to dealing with young women and the transition from home to school. Anxiety and stress frequently impacts the student's eating habits and an eating disorder is easily developed.
Some report that eating disorders at colleges are at epidemic levels. Apparently, women who leave home for college are three times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who stay with their parents. Young women tend to develop eating disorders to deal with their stress.
The research indicates that eating disorders typically begin sometime in adolescence during puberty but it can affect women across their life time. The most common characteristic of an eating disorder is dieting. In fact, the research shows that 35 percent of normal dieters progress to pathological dieting over time and about 20 percent of those develop full blown eating disorders.
What makes matters worse is that yoyo dieting plays havoc on the heart, weakening it. It also impacts a person's metabolism sometimes making it ineffective.
Approaching someone you know who has an eating disorder can be difficult. It's a very sensitive subject to bring up. I have 2 pieces of advice; Approach the subject gently but do not waiver from you recognizing the disease. Express concern but remain non-judgmental and encourage your young friend to get help.
You may also want to observe the eating habits of the young lady right now, several months before she's off to college to assess her