Embody Carolina is a campus initiative that aims to educate students about identifying and supporting someone struggling with an eating disorder. Eating disorders affect around 30 million Americans and are extremely prevalent on college campuses, with 1 in 4 students experiencing an eating disorder at some point. Even higher percentages of students struggle with negative body image, disordered eating, and low self-esteem. Additionally, eating disorders disproportionately impact folks in marginalized communities and people in these communities are less likely to receive a diagnosis and adequate care. These disorders and issues are not only potentially physically destructive, but are emotionally and mentally exhausting, detracting from students’ abilities to pursue their true interests.
Embody recognizes that there is no replacement for professional treatment of disorders and in no way seeks to do so. The three-hour, student led training program is meant to help students identify the signs of struggle, learn to approach friends with sensitivity and compassion, seek out help in the community, and serve as allies in the recovery process. The program also aims to dispel common myths about eating disorders and inform students about the dangers and realities of these disorders.
"Embody has played and plays such a large role in my life at UNC. It has truly changed my life for the better. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without Embody. This club gave me a space to interact with so many amazing people who are passionate about ED awareness. Seeing and being supported by people who are more than their ED’s was SO crucial for the beginning of my recovery process. I love the educational aspect of Embody. I truly think that education is the greatest tool and my eyes have been opened to not only the toxicity of diet culture, but also things that may seem as small and not a big deal but actually contribute harshly to diet culture." -Embody member, 2021