Embracing individual differences

The Body Image Fair was held in the Hall of Flags Feb. 25 through Feb. 26 in an effort to raise awareness in regards to physical well-being and healthy self-perception.

The fair was largely produced by Pilar Steele, a BYU graduate who is now interning in the UVU Student Health services department.

“We need to embrace our uniqueness” Steele said. “Every human being is different and we need to accept who we are.”

With three stations set up to inform and encourage students, the fair successfully drew attention to specific health issues. Participating students were able to undergo health and nutrition checks, take quizzes and discuss their results with professionals.

“In a survey taken at the fair, 61.5 percent of women and 33.7 percent of men said that they eat less to control weight” Steele said. “In the same survey 21.9 percent of women and 20.6 percent of men said that they aren’t satisfied with their appearance. We want to assist the students in dealing with these issues healthily.”

Despite the numerous challenges faced by students, there are many who are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s about making a conscious choice to be healthy and selective” said UVU vegan Meggie Woodfield. “I don’t eat any animal products, refined grains or sweeteners. Nutrition books can teach you what to look for and what to avoid.”

A wholesome diet works in combination with exercise to improve physical health.

“Utah has excellent locations for rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, and mountain and road biking. This sort of recreation is adventurous and keeps you in great shape” said UVU outdoor enthusiast Zach Whitmore.

A variety of instructive handouts were offered to students which suggested tips for eating healthily, combating the media’s influence, and exercising. Also available was a class schedule for the Center for Change, which holds a weekly array of health-promoting classes.

The classes offered include Balance and Awareness, an Emotional Eating Group as well as an Eating Disorders Anonymous Group, and several others.

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