Miss UNC Colleen Daly has rebounded from an eating disorder that she said made her unrecognizable to her family, and now she’s back in action — in a healthy way.
Daly, a senior, has devoted her time at UNC to combat eating disorders, saying that she hopes her story inspires others struggling with body image issues.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which runs this week and is promoted by the National Eating Disorders Association, aims to provide information about how eating disorders are triggered and treated.
According to the association, between 10 and 20 percent of female college students and between 4 and 10 percent of male college students have eating disorders.
Daly said she had never considered losing weight until an assignment in her freshman year LFIT class required her to track her caloric intake.
“It just triggered a thought in my head that my body was different than everyone else’s,” she said.
Daly said her eating disorder spiraled out of control when she studied abroad in Spain and became obsessed with exercising.
“It was the most heartbreaking time of my life because I just wasn’t myself,” Daly said. “It took my life away completely.”
According to a survey released this month by the association, eating disorders usually begin between 18 and 21 years of age.