Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Melinda Valliant

Second Advisor

Kathy Knight

Third Advisor

David Holben

Relational Format



Eating disorders are defined as an illness that changes one’s relationship with food, that ultimately affects one’s emotions, thoughts, and physical well-being. Three types of eating disorders most commonly diagnosed are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and disordered eating. It is important to note that disordered eating is a term used to describe abnormal eating behaviors and feelings related to food that may or may not fall into a certain diagnostic category (Anderson, 2018). Many college students today are diagnosed with an eating disorder or disordered eating as a result of the increasing anxiety and pressures experienced at this age.

The purpose of this study was to determine if undergraduate students at the University of Mississippi have an unhealthy relationship with food and body image. Eating disorders and disordered eating has yet to be addressed at the programmatic level at the University of Mississippi. The research in this study will add to our knowledge of disordered eating on college campuses, specifically the University of Mississippi. This study examined knowledge of on-campus resources for students with disordered eating. Students’ attitudes towards eating behaviors and their awareness of eating disorders were evaluated through a Qualtrics survey (Appendix B) and a questionnaire (Appendix A) completed by faculty. Data analytics tests examined the distribution of responses across age, gender, and the effect of weight on respondents who knew someone with an eating disorder. Results indicated, that there was no significance between age, however there was significant difference in responses based on gender and the effect of weight on respondents who knew someone with an eating disorder. This demonstrates that weight affects self-image differently based on gender, and if a person knows someone with an eating disorder.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.