Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2022 Hannah Thalberg
Eating disorders are incredibly debilitating, dehumanizing, and detrimental mental illnesses that affect diverse populations around the world. Disturbing over 28.8 million Americans alone per year, eating disorders remain the deadliest mental illness. Yet, there exists a gap between the academic and medical literature around eating disorders, and the societally crafted perspective towards eating disorders. While medically, eating disorders are crippling and life-threatening, eating disorders are socially praised and accepted as a norm. Not only are eating disorders vastly regularized in society, but they are also glamorized from the broad media saturation of Eurocentric thin idealization. These ideals are encapsulated by the ideology of diet culture, which promotes habits of disordered eating and associates worth with aestheticism, specifically around one’s body shape or size. Diet culture and the eating disorders that result from it are incredibly pervasive on college campuses, affecting almost a quarter of female students. Yet, there is sparse literature around proven interventions that are in place on college campuses. Therefore, it is crucial that colleges work to introduce successful and cost-efficient interventions on campuses to reduce the widespread illness of eating disorders. Though eating disorders are thought of to only affect thin, white women, they are widely intersectional. Socioeconomic and political barriers are inexorably intertwined with eating disorders, further hindering those from marginalized groups, racially, sexually, and socioeconomically. This has only been heightened from the COVID-19 pandemic. Henceforth, through the coalition between students and their institutions, colleges must work to apply intersectional interventions that are proven, innovative, and cost-effective. While there is not one intervention that stands supreme above all, I suggest multiple proven interventions and document my experience trying to implement a technologically innovative intervention, Wellory, at my institution.
Thalberg, Hannah, "The Implementation of Disordered Eating Interventions in Institutions of Higher Education" (2022). Scripps Senior Theses. 1803.