Eating Concerns

Everyday life is stressful and you might feel your weight is one of the few things you can control. While limiting your calories and exercise are often good for your mind and body, these healthy behaviors can become harmful if you drive yourself too hard.

Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship with Food
  1. Do you feel that food controls your life?
  2. Do you have the impulse to vomit after eating?
  3. Do you use laxatives to control your weight or shape?
  4. Do you go on eating binges and you feel you can't stop?
  5. Does exercise replace other activities such as classes, social events, or meals?

Eating disorders, obsessive dieting and/or concern about your weight, can strip the joy out of your life and lead to serious medical problems.

How Health Service Can Help

Our clinical staff is trained in the evaluation of eating concerns. You can come in on your own or maybe someone who is concerned for you -- a coach, friend, dean, advisor, parent for instance -- recommends you come see us. No matter how you come to us, we will start out with an evaluation.

The initial evaluation includes a detailed discussion of your concerns and health status. We will probably give you a physical examination and may take samples for lab work. After the evaluation, we will have a better idea of the status of your health and one of our clinicians will tailor a treatment plan for you.

If you have a more significant eating disorder, we make take a team approach to giving you the treatment you need. The team may include a medical  clinician, mental health counselor, and a nutritionist. We can give you information about nutritionists in the local area.

If You Are Worried About a Friend’s Unhealthy Eating

Talk to your friend
Let them know that you concerned about them and what you have noticed. Encourage them gently to make an appointment with the Tufts Health Service or Counseling and Mental Health Service (CMHS).

Ask a counselor about how to approach your friend
Feel free to talk to a counselor to get some guidance and support about how to talk to your friend.

Try not to worry about your friend's reaction
Your friend might not acknowledge what you say but knowing you are concerned will have an impact. Remind yourself are being a compassionate friend.

Get support for yourself
Having a close friend with a mental health concern such as an eating disorder can be stressful.  Please consider some support for yourself to take care of your own well being.

Talk to someone who can intervene
If you are seriously worried about your friend's safety, speak to someone at the Dean of Student Affairs who can work to ensure your friend has an evaluation. 

Online Resources

The National Eating Disorders Association provides free, anonymous services online.