EDITORIAL: REDO brings awareness to campus
Rutgers Eating Disorder Organization starts necessary conversation
If you have not heard of the Rutgers Eating Disorder Organization (REDO), it is probably because the organization was in a period of activity last year — but REDO is back and it is doing its best to make a large impact on campus.
REDO focuses on providing better resources to students, eliminating stigmas that surround eating disorders and bringing a better understanding and awareness of eating disorders on campus.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, a collegiate survey revealed that college students with eating disorders from one college increased from 7.9 percent to 25 percent among males and from 23.4 percent to 32.6 percent among females. This survey indicated results over a 13 year period. And although this may seem like a large span of time, the numbers shown are still disturbing nonetheless.
REDO is not an organization that provides direct therapy to students on campus. And although some people may think that direct therapy is the main way to combat this issue, the work that REDO does is just as important in terms of targeting the problem. Instead, the group provides students with the resources needed to go out and seek help. This allows students who do not know how to tackle their eating disorders to take a step in the right direction. At the same time, REDO works hard to highlight the truth about eating disorders. Some people believe that eating disorders have one, specific “look” to them, but this is not the case. Anorexia and extreme thinness are not the only aspects of eating disorders, and understanding this is another step toward getting rid of the stigma that surrounds eating disorders. Understanding that people do not need to have been previously diagnosed with an eating disorder in order to have one is another step toward this.
Rutgers has over 400 clubs and organizations that students can join and the fact that one is focused solely on eating disorders is a testament to the positive impact that Rutgers students are making on their campus. Eating disorders are often overlooked and stigmatized because some people fail to understand that they are associated with mental health and can have very serious effects. The more eating disorders are disregarded, the worse they get and the more difficult proper treatment becomes.
Eating disorders, specifically anorexia, have shown to be the most deadly psychiatric diagnosis. One can go on and on as to why eating disorders are so prevalent in today’s society: From the constant reiteration of “ideal” body types within media to bullying about body size, any type of external declaration that your body does not look the way it is “supposed to” can cause insecurity and eventually lead to eating disorders. But REDO recognizes this and works to fight against it.
REDO is taking action. They are participating in the Central New Jersey National Eating Disorder Association walk in Belle Mead, and have already raised hundreds of dollars. They are also encouraging as many people as possible to participate.
On top of this, REDO has coordinated with Aerie and even plans on having representatives from the company to attend their future meeting in order to talk about body positivity.
REDO is bringing the right conversation to campus through their meetings and events. By putting such a great emphasis on the importance of understanding eating disorders, this organization is coming back to campus stronger than ever. If REDO was not a household name before due to its inactivity, then its actions now will change that, and this is exactly what the campus needs.