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Coalition on Eating Disorders and Exercise Concerns

The UVA Coalition on Eating Disorders and Exercise Concerns (EDEC) is a committee of students and multidisciplinary faculty and staff dedicated to advancing the understanding, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders and exercise abuse throughout the University community.  A list of members and their contact info can be found here.

Goals and Objectives
  • Supporting and coordinating the efforts of University community groups to promote healthful body image and eating and exercise habits
  • Designing and implementing educational events and materials
  • Providing information and facilitating access to treatment and referral resources
  • Promoting research that advances understanding of the impact of disordered eating and exercise abuse at UVA
Getting Involved
  • Volunteer to help at events by emailing us.
  • Serve as an EDEC member. EDEC members are appointed by the Vice President of Student Affairs in consultation with the EDEC chairperson. Members attend monthly meetings and participate in working groups related to outreach, research, resources, and training. We seek students, faculty, and staff partners to represent a wide array of university departments and experience.
  • To learn more, email us.
Our Partners

IM-Rec Sports

  • The Department of Intramural-Recreational Sports is an essential part of the University of Virginia’s quality of life outside the classroom.  Our primary emphasis is to support the total development and well-being of members of the University community through educational, intramural, fitness, recreational and social programming in high quality, comprehensive, sports, fitness and physical activity based facilities.  We serve the University community with a wide range of quality opportunities to foster personal, educational, ethical, social and physical development through engaging University students in leadership and participatory opportunities.

Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVA

  • The Body Project at UVA: The Body Project is a prevention program that is group based. It is divided into 2 sessions and provides a forum for female identifying college aged students to confront unrealistic appearance ideals and develop healthy body image and self-esteem. It has been shown to reduce body dissatisfaction and disordered earing. This group is facilitated by The Body Positive team at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVA throughout the academic year. To schedule or inquire about this offering, please e-mail the Body Positive team.
  • Body Positive Team Offerings: The Body Positive team lives at The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVA and is led by Aisha Saeed, LCSW, and a group of student interns. The Body Positive team is committed to social justice and intersectionality. The team aims to educate, raise awareness and spread the message of radical self love. We aim to honor and value body diversity, equity and inclusion for every body. The Body Positive team offers presentations related to Body Positivity and intersectionality. We can organize presentations,  facilitated group dialogue and  provide resources for your needs in creative ways to engage UVA students and staff with this very important topic. To learn more about what our team is up to, follow us on Instagram: @uvabodypositive or e-mail us at [email protected].


our team

UVA Faculty and Staff

  • Chair, Tracy Buni, MD, Assistant Director for Eating Disorders, Student Health and Wellness
  • Melanie Brede, MS, RD, CEDRD, Senior Nutritionist, Student Health and Wellness
  • Kristen Mach, MS, RDN, Nutritionist, Student Health and Wellness
  • Lee Llewellyn, Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Jackie Lebeau, Senior Director Fitness, UVA Recreation 
  • Kelsie D. Kelly Smith, Associate Dean, Associate Professor, Office of African American Affairs
  • Sally Kline Armentrout, Assistant Dean for Student Services, Mclntire School of Commerce
  • Melissa Frost, Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor, Department of Spanish

  • Alex Winkowski, Interim Director, Fraternity & Sorority Life

  • Shanna Carmack, Assistant Dean of Students, Housing and Residence Life

  • Lucy Bassett, Associate Professor of Public Practice, Co-Director UVA Humanitarian Collective

  • Danielle Schneider, Dining Services

  • Chris Skipper, Personal Trainer, UVA Recreation


UVA Students

  • John Dolan, Undergraduate Student, Safety & Wellness Committee, Student Council
  • Jaqueline Manelli, Undergraduate Student, NEDA Campus Warriors
  • Subhi Saibaba, Undergraduate Student, Peer Health Educator, Body Positive Intern


If you'd like help navigating these resources or if you'd like talk with someone regarding an eating or exercise concern that you or someone you know may have, please contact us

Care and Resources at UVA
Online Assessments and Self-Help
Books on Disordered Eating
  • Life Without ED by Jenni Schaefer
  • Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita A. Johnston, Ph.D.
  • Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life by Jenni Schaefer
  • The Body Image Workbook by Thomas F. Cash
  • Loving Someone with an Eating Disorder: Understanding, Supporting, and Connecting with your Partner by Dana Harron, Psy.D.
  • The Eating Disorder Sourcebook by Carolyn Costin
  • Surviving an Eating Disorders: Perspectives and Strategies for Family and Friends, 3RD Edition, by Michelle Siegell, Ph.D., Judith Brisman, Ph.D., and Margot Weinshel, Ph.D.
Tips for Finding a Provider
  • Introduce yourself: share your first and last name and your phone number. If you are leaving a message, say your phone number twice on the message to be sure it can be heard clearly.
  • Ask the provider if they are currently accepting new clients.
  • Ask the provider about any parts of their identity that are important to you, such as the provider’s age, race/ethnicity, gender, religious background, etc.
  • Ask the provider about their training or education if that is important to you.
  • Ask the provider about any particular areas of expertise you are looking for, such as experience with clients with eating disorders, over- or under eating or exercise behaviors, and/or body image concerns.
  • Ask the provider about fees and your options for payment, particularly if you are planning to use insurance or prefer a payment plan.
  • If you do plan to use your insurance, ask providers what type of insurance they accept, whether they bill the insurance directly, and/or whether they are willing to provide you receipts so that you can submit them to insurance on your own.
  • Ask the provider a bit about their overall approach in working with clients and/or what it might be like to work together.
  • Ask about the length of the typical appointment and the hours typically available for meeting.
Web Resources
How to Help a Friend
  • Check out this guide on how to have conversations around disorders eating
  • Review this video below to learn how to help a friend you suspect maybe struggling:
Things to Remember:
  • Eating disorders affect people of all genders, races, sexual orientations, ages, body shapes and sizes, and socioeconomic levels.
  • Eating disorders are not only about food. They are often also about emotions, feelings, and control.
  • People who struggle with eating disorders are doing the BEST that they can. They are trying to solve their problems the only way they know how.
  • Many people develop eating disorders to cope with pressures they receive from the outside world.


If you'd like to learn more about EDEC or if you'd like talk with someone regarding an
eating or exercise concern that you or someone you know may have, please contact us. 

email UVA EDEC