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Finding a Healthier View with the Health Education Department

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019

USU students signing a healthy living pledge

Students met at the HPER building Tuesday night to learn and discuss healthy habits in the “Healthier View, Healthier You” body image workshop.

The one-hour workshop was put on by five students in the Health Education department to teach about and spread awareness of the importance of having a positive body image. Participants had opportunities to discuss issues associated with body image and how social media can skew perceptions of it.

Camille Wirthlin, a freshman majoring in civil engineering, especially enjoyed the discussion portions of the workshop, noting that everyone was “pretty open with their ideas.”

To prepare for the workshop, Rebekah Bednar and her classmates conducted a study at Utah State University last semester to determine how much of a problem negative body image is on campus. The results showed that there was definite room for improvement.

According to the survey, 15 percent of students reported struggling with an eating disorder at some point in their lives, and only 30 percent of students had received information about eating disorders before.

“I think it’s a really prevalent issue,” Bednar said, citing that their study showed that over half of USU students are dissatisfied with their bodies.

The study also found that both male and female students struggle with having a positive body image. Adam Vincent, a management information systems major, was surprised by the extent to which body image is a problem for men, especially in terms of negative thoughts towards oneself. 

“I never think of my body image as much as I should, both in negative and positive ways,” he said.

After talking about how nutritional, physical, and mental health all contribute to a healthy body image, participants were encouraged to set goals to improve their own body images. Participants traced their hands on a poster as a pledge before leaving the workshop.

Participants also had opportunities to win gift cards to various businesses for completing the workshop. Food was also provided.

Two more sessions of the workshop will take place on Thursday, February 21 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Both sessions will be held in HPER 111.

Rebekah Bednar invites anyone to join the second and third sessions. “It’ll be a good time,” she said. “People will learn the importance of body image, and how to improve theirs and how to help others do the same.”


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