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UNT promotes healthy habits to raise awareness about eating disorders

UNT promotes healthy habits to raise awareness about eating disorders

Above, Xiangli Gu, seen here talking with UNT Provost Finley Graves, was also honored at the college's Faculty Salute in 2015.

UNT promotes healthy habits to raise awareness about eating disorders
March 01
21:33 2017

Anxiety, stress and depression are just three potential reasons for the body negativity that forces one out of every 200 American women into anorexia, but UNT has attacked the issue head-on with eating disorder awareness events.

“Eating disorders often deal with behavioral problems from men or women facing high stress levels,” assistant kinesiology professor Xiangli Gu said. “Issues such as depression, low social performance, anxiety and things like that can make it difficult for students activity.”

The recreation, health, counseling, testing services centers and the division of student affairs held body-positive events to raise awareness about eating disorders. From Feb. 20 to Feb. 25 students were invited to zumba classes, pilates, yoga, a body positive walk, therapy dogs and art promoting body positivity at UNT.


Gu has focused her research on physical activities. She was recently named one of six new researchers for the Society of Health and Physical Educators. Her research focuses on the motivation of physical activity, health promotion and behavioral mechanisms.

Gu said her research has a big challenge: finding funding. She explained that you can have good ideas but to get people to participate in those ideas, you need funding so people have an incentive to participate in the studies.

The hardest part about getting involved in any activity, Gu said, is time.

“Time is not the issue,” Gu said, “It is a variable. They can arrange the time but it usually requires a decision because students make time for the things they want to do.”

Promoting healthy habits

Mason Walters, who works at informal services for the recreation center, said it is important to find out how the facility can be more welcoming for other students.

“I think people might be intimidated to come to the gym,” Walters said. “Generally people with eating disorders have self-consciousness problems.”

Walters said it is important for people to be comfortable with the workouts they do, and eat healthy foods to create a balance.

“When you stay more active you want to eat more,” Walters said. “That’s a sign of being healthy because you want more fuel that you can burn.”

He also recommended going to the gym two to three times a week.

“The reason I work out is so I can always strive for a healthy body,” biochemistry freshman Robert Alcala said. “I think that when you work out you don’t have to watch your eating as much because you can burn those calories.”

Alcala said that keeping healthy is good and that it is important to keep up physical activity.

Dallas Gallagher, a 21-year-old independent tattoo artist, said that his brother is a personal trainer.

“College kids should go to the gym at least once a week,” Gallagher said “I work out in the mornings because it wakes me up and gets my body going.”

Gallagher said that waking up and working out right away allows him to fully wake up his body and gets him ready for the day. He said that the person who works out is likely to be in a better mood and that it is important to try to get to the gym when you can.

“It is important to be active in some way whether it be a jog, a workout or some other way,” Gallagher said.

Featured Image: Above, Xiangli Gu, seen here talking with UNT Provost Finley Graves, was also honored at the college’s Faculty Salute in 2015. Courtesy UNT College of Education website

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Robert Warren

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