Sara Bird Mahan, Counseling & Recovery case manager, is a master’s candidate and advocate for eating disorder awareness, prevention and intervention.

A student leader of the National Eating Disorders Association Week activities at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, Sara finishes her masters in May. She recently presented on eating disorders at the annual Zarrow Symposium on Sept. 18.

“Everyone at some point has struggled with a negative body image,” Sara said. “People who consistently view their bodies in a negative way have a chance of developing an eating disorder.”

Eating disorders affect men and women, children, pre-teens and adolescents. Eating disorders are not just choices, but are life threatening illnesses. They are prevalent in society, but fortunately, help is available. People can recover.
A simple technique to prevent and intervene in eating disorders is erasing “fat talk.”

“An individual is taught to replace statements, ‘fat talk,’ that promote a negative body image with more positive statements that reflect a positive body image.”