Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



Eating disorders (EDs) are complicated and dangerous illnesses that affect mental and physical health. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, food restriction, vomiting or using laxatives, and/or excessive exercise to prevent weight gain. College students, particularly females, are at an increased risk for ED onset due to external factors such as a change in environment, eating habits, diet culture and high risk of food insecurity in the campus setting. Since St. Catherine University (SCU) has a College for Women, the author wondered why she hadn’t seen more information or initiatives to support ED prevention and recovery within the SCU community.

In this honors project, the author analyzes what previous research reveals about ED prevalence and prevention in the college environment, specifically as it pertains to ED awareness and food availability. She also shares the information from interviews with three Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who work in college settings. The author finishes by offering some suggestions for how SCU as an institution can more effectively fight ED onset and diet culture, and promote healthy body image. These suggestions include changes such as adjusting cafeteria structure or menus, offering regular ED screenings, educating students on how to alert faculty and staff about a student at risk, and hosting ED awareness workshops through programs like The Body Project.


Honors Program

2022_ASH_PottsA_flyer.pdf (4240 kB)
Food Access and Eating Disorders flyer