Eating Disorders Prevention Programs at AU
The Body Project
The Body Project is an empirically based body acceptance program that was designed to help young women feel more positively about their bodies, and thus reduce their risk for developing eating disorder symptoms. The program has been found to reduce thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, unhealthy dieting, and negative emotions.
The Body Project involves several sessions over a period of three weeks, and take place in small groups. In each group session, trained peer educators lead participants through a series of verbal, written, and behavioral exercises that directly challenge and critque societal standards of beauty. In addition, participants learn ways that they can change their behavior to create a more positive culture on campus.
The Sorority Body Project
The Sorority Body Project (formerly known as Reflections: Body Image Program) is an evidence-based peer led body image education and eating disorder prevention program. It was designed in collaboration with an international sorority, Delta Delta Delta, and focuses on the unique needs of and relationships between sorority sisters. The program works to improve body image issues, encourage healthy confrontation and communication skills, and resist the unrealistic, ultrathin ideal standard of female beauty that is prevalent in today's society.
The Sorority Body Project is implemented among sorority members in two two-hour sessions using highly interactive, peer-led, small groups. The program does not focus on eating disorders. Instead, it emphasizes creating and re-affirming a positive and healthy personal body image through a variety of structured discussions, activities, and exercises. By doing so, participants learn to embrace the healthy ideal, reduce their own body dissatisfaction, decrease "fat talk" in their daily life and recognize all of the wonderful non-appearance related aspects of themselves and others.
** Peer leaders and participants of the Body Project and the Sorority Body Project are also involved in health promotion events on campus like Fat Talk Free Week, Body Image Awareness Week, and periodic healthy body discussion groups.
The Female Athlete Body Project (FAB)
FAB is a program that came to AU in 2012 as part of a partnership with Louisiana State University Athletics, Trinity University Athletics, University of Incarnate Word Athletics, and a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. It is designed to improve the well-being of female collegiate athletes as well as to provide education that could ultimately impact their health and risk of chronic disease later on in life. The program will ultimately include 500 female athletes participating among the three sites' sports teams including basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, diving, tennis, golf, softball, gymnastics, and cheerleading.