Peer Education Programs

Body Image Peer Education


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Eating disorders impact up to 20 percent of college students. Many more students struggle with feeling good about their appearance and bodies. This peer education program is designed to help students become educators for the Towson community about eating disorders and to assist in improving the body image of our students.

What type of training do students in the BIPE track receive?

The training for this program consists of a series of online modules as well as an in person training offered once per semester, is three, three-hour sessions and involves opportunities for During the training, sstudents are asked to examine their own beliefs about food and weight issues. Those who are interested in being members of BIPE must be working on having healthy relationships with food and their bodies in order to be good role models for Towson students. Content topics that are covered include:

  • The causes and consequences of eating disorders.
  • The influence of the media in the development of body image and eating issues.
  • Basics of nutrition and exercise
  • Ways to have a better relationship with food and body.

What activities are students in BIPE engaged in?

• Peer educators are invited into classrooms and student group meetings to deliver presentations on body image and eating disorders. BIPE students are trained in several different interactive programs and students generate new programs based on the needs of the campus.

• They may also be involved in assisting staff members in delivering programs to the larger Towson community.

• BIPE students have the opportunity to lead groups for The Body Project © after going through facilitator training

• They organize and assist with tabling outreach (which includes games like trivia and projects like "I love my body because..."), events (such as those during Love Your Body Week and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week), and other campaigns on campus and digitally.

Some of the programs BIPE offers to the TU community include:


The Body Project ©: This is an interactive discussion group for college women that is focused on helping women feel more positively about their bodies and critique societal ideas about beauty. In person discussion groups are two hours long and take place over the course of two consecutive weeks.

Love Your Tree: This is a poster-making campaign designed to promote messages about body acceptance. It was developed originally by Julia Anderson, Senior Art Therapist at the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt. Students create posters to be submitted to the campaign which promote positive body image and self-esteem.

Body Image 101: This program includes many of the components of Eating Disorders 101 but covers these issues less thoroughly in order to spend more time discussing body image issues. The role of the media in the development of body image issues is examined and the costs of pursuing our culture’s beauty ideal are explored.

Body Image and the Media: Movies, magazines and television give the message that we must look a certain way to be happy and loved. This message can lead to negative body image, and eating disorders. In this program the audience learns how to combat these messages and appreciate their body.

Body Image and Relationships: Does how you view body affect your close relationships? The media leads us to believe that we must look a certain way to be beautiful and accepted. We also get messages that we must behave and look certain ways based on our gender and sexuality. But is this accurate? This workshop includes interactive activities, helping participants learn ways to improve body image, and question myths our society holds about beauty.

Diet Mythbusting: Tired of trying diets that don’t work? Stop falling for diet lies. This workshop provides the latest information on diets and how to break out of the obsessed diet mentality.

Eating Disorders 101: This program explains eating disorders and provides an overview of the different types of eating disorders. Suggestions for ways to work on body image and food issues are provided as well as ways to help a friend with an eating disorder. The resources on campus are also discussed.

Fear Not the Freshman 15: This program works to dispel the myths of the Freshman 15 and provides the audience with helpful suggestions of ways to be healthy throughout college.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Fat Talk: Do I look fat in this? I wish I was thinner…Students engage in this type of conversation with each other on a daily basis, often believing that it is harmless to talk this way. Unfortunately, fat talk is toxic, possibly damaging to body image, food habits, and relationships with others.

Mirror of My Self: When you look in the mirror, do you acknowledge all of your strengths? Design mirrors with positive images and statements to combat fat talk. This art activity is aimed at appreciating the entire you.

Nutrition 101 for College Students: Are you eager for helpful information about healthy eating on campus? Then this is the program for you. Topics covered include mindful eating and deciphering your body’s nutritional needs.

Women of Color Weigh In: Join the Body Image Peer Educators for a lively discussion and activities aimed at understanding the role of the media and culture on body image, exploring issues around hair texture, skin color and body types.


Why participate in BIPE?

• You will have the opportunity to participate in a range of campus events designed to improve body and increase awareness about eating disorders, thereby improving yourself and the TU community.

• You will be able to develop strong leadership, marketing, networking, public speaking and presentation skills that you will likely use in your future career. BIPE are encouraged to take leadership roles and develop their own ideas for projects.

• Many BIPE activities look excellent on your resume!

• You will meet other students and form new friendships.

• There is the possibility of attending regional and national peer education conferences

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