Body Image is a Concern for Students of All Ages

NEW YORK, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- MS -- For the millions of junior high, high school and college students heading back to school shortly, the idea of returning to the classroom may be met with mixed emotions.

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While the school experience is built upon educational advancement, attending school is also largely a social experience. Many students find themselves working as hard to "fit in" as they do to improve their grades. These pressures can take a toll on someone already susceptible to emotional and behavioral conditions, or trigger feelings in someone who never struggled before. Centers like Timberline Knolls, a treatment center for women and adolescent girls, want to educate students and parents about potential problems, and let them know assistance is available when necessary.

Many students admit to feeling the pressure to have a good body, whether to fit into a certain clique or meet the weight requirements of a scholastic sports team. Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia are growing concerns in schools around the country.

As many as 10 million females and one million males are fighting a life and death battle with anorexia or bulimia and another 25 million are fighting a binge eating disorder, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Eating disorders are usually shrouded in secrecy, but those who are suffering should realize that reaching out for assistance is the first step to getting back on track.

"We want to share the message of hope and acceptance with students everywhere," says Kimberly Dennis, M.D., Timberline Knolls' medical director. "We show individuals how to take a positive step toward recovery, and educate families on how they can support their loved ones."

Timberline Knolls offers psychiatric and psychological therapeutic approaches coupled with constant attention to an individual's strengths and disorders. Their goals are to work with women and their families to develop a program that celebrates successes. There are programs tailored for eating disorders, substance abuse, risk-taking behavior, and depression. Learn more by visiting

Treatment for eating disorders is best when started at the onset of any indicators of a problem.

-- Exhibits concern about her weight and attempts to control weight by diet, refusal of food, vomiting or laxative and diuretic abuse.

-- Does prolonged exercising despite fatigue and weakness.

-- Has peculiar patterns regarding handling food. May eat in secrecy.

-- Exhibits abnormally fast weight loss, without any other known medical condition. Bulimics might be slightly underweight or overweight.

-- Experiences depressive moods and self-deprecating behavior.

Physical symptoms other than weight loss that could be indicators of an eating disorder include:

For more information on identifying the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, visit or call (877) 257-9611 to speak with a Timberline Knolls staff member.

SOURCE Timberline Knolls