“I never sought help with my disordered eating from Stanford. But it’s not fair to place the blame squarely on my shoulders.”
Stanford student Holden Foreman clearly has an issue here, but it’s not clear what the school’s responsibility is for his problem. My favorite thing about the piece is that it even has a trigger warning.
He writes at the Stanford Daily:
Stanford’s dining hall system did not work with my disordered eating. That can change.
Content warning: This column contains references to disordered eating.
Sharp stomach pains distracted me as I sit in a CS section during my first quarter at Stanford in the fall of 2017. I hadn’t eaten enough that morning, as my mind convinced me to take a very small portion of the “healthiest” vegetarian food I could find in the dining hall. I was too stressed to even attempt a dining hall lunch, and was now stuck waiting until dinner.
After thinking about my hunger for most of the section, I made my way to the dining hall after class, but I could bring myself to eat only a plate of grilled cauliflower. And before I even finished that, it was time to go to my nighttime economics section.
The specific type of disordered eating I experience has not been diagnosed, but it can be described as a compulsion to eat less than needed when I’m either in social settings or when I have trouble estimating the amount of food I’m consuming.
In theory, Stanford’s dining halls present students with the opportunity to eat as much as they need given its buffet format. Yet students like me may struggle to take enough of any of the available food when they are charged with portioning it themselves…
Despite my struggles, I never sought help with my disordered eating from Stanford. But it’s not fair to place the blame squarely on my shoulders. Simple changes to campus dining could help students without relying on their time and energy when they are not ready to seek help.
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