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COC nutrition group to host body image program

Posted: October 6, 2009 11:09 a.m.
Updated: October 6, 2009 9:10 p.m.
This month, the Student Nutrition and Wellness Advocates at College of the Canyons (SNAC) group will host its first annual campus-wide Eating Disorder and Body Image Prevention Program during national "Fat Talk Free Week" Oct. 19-25.

With major partners including Seventeen Magazine, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), "Fat Talk Free Week" is a five-day public awareness campaign designed to draw attention to and halt the damaging impact of the "thin ideal" for women in today’s society — including negative body talk, unhealthy dieting and unrealistic beauty ideals.

At College of the Canyons the week’s events will include a "Real Beauty Is…" art display and silent auction and the "EveryBODY is Beautiful" fashion show featuring COC student models, in the Honor Grove from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 21. In addition, SNAC members will be distributing Fat Talk Free Week pledge cards around campus.
The week’s activities will conclude with a free public viewing of the film “Beauty Mark” from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Oct. 28 in the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (PAC) at College of the Canyons.

Examining popular culture’s toxic emphasis on weight and body image, “Beauty Mark” shows viewers the world through the eyes of Boulder, Colorado based psychotherapist and former world-class tri-athlete Diane Israel, also the film’s director.

Throughout the film, Israel shares her personal story and experiences while interviewing other champion athletes, bodybuilders, fashion models and inner-city teens about their experiences relating to self-image.

Following the film screening, SNAC will host an hour-long panel discussion featuring Israel and special guests Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008, Michele Tamarkin, eating-disorder therapist and Sheri Barke, sports and wellness dietitian at the college.

“It’s our hope to use this program to stimulate thought about how we as a society inadvertently help create disordered eating with our unhealthy focus on weight, dieting, body sculpting and the almost constant engagement in negative food and body talk,” said Barke, who also serves as SNAC advisor. “Men, women, students, athletes, coaches, teachers, parents and health and fitness professionals alike will all benefit from attending this unique event.”

SNAC is a student group committed to promoting health and wellness on campus and in the community — with a particular focus on promoting healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, and body image — while providing training and supervised work experience to students interested in nutrition, health and fitness careers.

Through education, outreach, and environmental action, SNAC aims to:

* Help students eat well, be active and feel good.

* Empower students to cope with stress in healthy ways.

* Encourage students to set boundaries with food, exercise, rest, school, work and play in order to maintain a healthy balance.

* Promote health and fitness at every shape and size, rather than being thin or muscular at any cost.

* Create an environment that supports and encourages positive attitudes and healthy lifestyle behaviors.

“Sadly, a lot of people become obsessed with food, exercise and body image in what is a sometimes desperate attempt to be accepted and feel happy, secure and in control of their lives. But they rarely realize what they’re really hungry for,” Barke said. “Real happiness, like real health and beauty, starts from the inside out.”

The “Beauty Mark” screening and panel presentation are being presented by SNAC and the College of the Canyons student health and wellness center — with support from the college’s Associated Student Government.

Those planning on attending the event do not need to RSVP, however early seating is recommended.


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