The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday March 30th

Students learn to make food their friend again

Jessica Setnick, a specialist on eating disorders, gave a lecture on body image and diet in the Stone Center theater.
Buy Photos Jessica Setnick, a specialist on eating disorders, gave a lecture on body image and diet in the Stone Center theater.

Setnick is a senior fellow at Remuda Ranch, a treatment center for women and girls with eating disorders. She developed the Eating Disorders Boot Camp, a training program provided to sports dieticians and nutritionists at UNC.

Setnick said the idea of talking about food and eating seems simple, but most oftentimes is not.

“We should all be able to feel comfortable talking about our food, and the struggles we sometimes have with it,” Setnick said.

Setnick said the goal for the night was for students to go back to when they were children and paid attention to internal cues of hunger, rather than external cues like social pressures such as media and body-shaming.

Setnick showed an image of a birthday card with a picture of an infant with certain body parts pointed out, such as “pudgy thighs,” “saggy chest,” “fleshy arms” and “flabby tush,” as an example of body-shaming portrayed as humorous by advertisements.

Setnick said even without media, advertisements and other outside sources, people would still have awareness issues surrounding food because perceptions of body image have been unknowingly tied to eating.

She encouraged students to be introspective about their eating by minimizing distractions while eating.

“I don’t know what is best and most healthy for you,” Setnick said. “I want you to look within and figure out what you’re doing because it’s healthy for you versus what you’re doing because you heard it somewhere online.”

First-year Patrick Gorman said he enjoyed Setnick’s presentation.

“Initially, I came for the LFIT extra credit, but I enjoyed it,” Gorman said. “As I got the point she was trying to make, I thought it was really interesting.”

Antonia Hartley, clinical nutrition specialist at UNC Campus Health Services, said Setnick spoke with doctors and clinicians at Campus Health on mindful eating Wednesday morning. She said Setnick’s presentation provided useful information to different types of students such as food studies, psychology, nutrition and nursing majors.

“Dysfunctional eating is a topic that we need to be talking about on college campuses, because it is a reality,” Hartley said.


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