Talk of the Town: Fighting a negative body image - at any age

Talk of the Town: Neda walk this Saturday

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - You feel fat. You’re not. You are hungry. But you can’t eat. You just wouldn’t dare.

This Saturday, you have the chance to help those in our area dealing with an eating disorder. The 2019 Columbia NEDA Walk will be on the campus of the University of South Carolina.

NEDA stands for the National Eating Disorders Association.

Mills Hayes is the student body vice president at the University of South Carolina - the location of Saturday's walk.

Mills spearheaded student government's #CarolinaBeYOUtiful week which promotes body positivity, self-love and eating disorder awareness ahead of the Columbia NEDA walk.

She is boldly speaking on the importance of the NEDA walk and the work she and others are doing on campus to fight negative body image and eating disorders. A year ago, Mills was battling an eating disorder herself.

The 2019 Columbia NEDA Walk will be on the campus of the University of South Carolina.
The 2019 Columbia NEDA Walk will be on the campus of the University of South Carolina.

She felt she had no control over her life, so she used the disordered eating - not eating and throwing up what she did eat - as a way to have some control in her life. Today, she is using her platform to share her personal experiences to empower others by educating them and offering support.

More than 30 million people in the United States suffer from an eating disorder. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Nearly one person dies every 60 minutes. More than 70 percent will not get treatment because of the stigma, lack of education/diagnosis, and lack of access to care. The majority of eating disorders begin between the ages of 18 and 25 which is why early education is important.

Join the fight today and help spread the message that hope in recovery is real. The NEDA Walk in Columbia is this Saturday by the Russell House on Green Street on USC’s campus. Check-in time is 10 a.m. The opening ceremony is 11 a.m. And the walk ends at noon. A link to register for the walk is on my Facebook page at this moment.

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