The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 3rd

Letter: Write about eating disorders with care

TO THE EDITOR:

We would like to commend The Daily Tar Heel for its coverage of eating disorders (EDs) in wrestlers from Friday’s paper. It is vital that we continue to discuss how EDs affect all — regardless of gender, race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, ability, and many other demographics.

However, we would like to see the DTH change the way it reports EDs and stories that discuss weight.

We encourage the DTH to avoid using specific weights or other numbers (e.g. calories, time spent exercising) or graphic descriptions of disordered behaviors (e.g. wearing a sauna suit for X minutes to lose Y pounds), as these often trigger relapses or exacerbate illness those who live with an ED.

We are not saying that the DTH should not report the physical and emotional health dangers that those with EDs face. We simply believe that it is possible and necessary to tell these stories in a responsible manner. Triggering content and graphic descriptions are often used for shock value.

This directly harms some readers and sends a message that the only way one can experience an ED is through caloric restriction and weight loss, which contributes to the stigmatization of non-restrictive EDs.

Finally, we encourage the DTH to include a list of resources at the conclusion of any stories that discuss eating disorders. We recommend including links and telephone numbers for the National Eating Disorders Association, the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders and the Embody Carolina training registration.

Rebecca Hoffman

Embody Carolina Co-Chairperson

Senior

Political Science

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