Local group to fight eating disorders in schools this week


The Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee-Northeast is working to address the issue of eating disorders among youth by sponsoring programs in local schools Feb. 21-26. The YES! (Youth Education and Support) Team program was developed by the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee (EDCT) to coincide with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Promoted by Coordinated School Health leaders in each participating school system, the program educates youth about eating disorders, and helps them develop healthy body image, build friendships and support each other.

Last year’s YES! Team events drew a positive response from students, and this year the program has expanded from seven local schools to 31 schools in five regional systems. The YES! Team program is designed to help youth develop critical thinking skills regarding body image and appearance. Students will learn to decode media messages, challenge society’s glorification of thinness, and improve peer communication skills.

The curriculum also aims to discourage weight- and shape-related teasing and sexual harassment. Students are encouraged to take a stand, change their focus and break free from the constraints of an unrealistic body image.

“We are very excited to implement this program to schools in our region,” said local EDCT board member Misty Bays. “Young people are very easily influenced, and this is a great opportunity to teach them that beauty comes from within, warn them about the dangers of eating disorders, and teach them lifelong wellness skills.”

EDCT will provide before and after posters of celebrities who have been digitally altered, as well as posters that show a Barbie doll’s unrealistic, life-sized proportions. If your school is interested in having a YES! Team or for more information, call Bays at 423-764-1113.

The following schools will particiate in this year's YES! Team programs:

  • Unicoi County Elementary School
  • Fairmont Elementary School
  • North Side Elementary
  • South Side Elementary
  • Mt. View Elementary
  • Lake Ridge Elementary
  • Towne Acre Elementary
  • Cherokee Elementary
  • Daniel Boone High School
  • University School
  • Baileyton Elementary
  • Camp Creek Elementary
  • Chuckey Doak High School
  • Debusk Elementary
  • Doak Elementary
  • Glenwood Elementary
  • McDonald Elementary
  • Mosheim Elementary/Middle
  • Nolachuckey Elementary
  • North Greene High School
  • Ottway Elementary
  • South Greene High School
  • West Greene High School
  • West Pines Elementary
  • Thomas Howard McNeese Educational Center
  • Blountville Middle School
  • Unicoi County Middle School
  • Johnson County High School
  • Indian Trail Middle School
  • Science Hill High School
  • Colonial Heights Middle School
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