Eating Disorders

Weight, body image, eating patterns, and nutrition are important concerns for many of today's college students. However, sometimes these concerns begin to interfere with daily life and relationships, or even threaten health and well-being.

At Middlebury, we offer several kinds of support to students for whom eating or related issues have become troublesome. We also offer support and suggestions for those concerned about a friend, roommate, or teammate. 

Because eating concerns and problematic eating behaviors impact a student at many levels, Parton provides a variety of resources. The best approach tends to be a coordinated, collaborative effort between the student, health services, counseling, and nutritionists. Psychiatric referrals are appropriate in some cases. Each situation is unique and Parton staff work with students individually to provide the best approach.

However, because Parton does not specialize in treating eating disorders, students who require ongoing, long-term treatment, and students with more severe cases that pose a threat to their health or safety, are referred off campus.

Often, in these situations, a student is best served by taking time away from the College to fully engage the issues of concern. In less severe cases, students may do well with a combination of on-campus and off-campus support, but must understand that resources are limited at the College and in the surrounding community. Middlebury is a small town in rural Vermont. Students should be aware that the closest eating disorder specialists are in Rutland, VT and Burlington, VT (approximately 45 – 60 minutes away).

Listed below are links to a variety of resources that may be helpful if you or someone you know has concerns about eating or eating related behaviors. For a consultation, please call Health Services at 443-5135 or Counseling at 443-5141.

Resources On and Off Campus

How to Help a Friend

Types of Eating Disorders

After Receiving Intensive Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment: What Next?

Athletes and Eating Issues

Males and Eating Disorders



Types of Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa

Characterized first by significant restriction of food, excessive weight loss, and if left unchecked, may progress to self-starvation.

Bulimia Nervosa

Characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging

Binge Eating Disorder

Characterized primarily by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full.

Some students have eating problems that do not meet the definition of the disorders mentioned above, but nevertheless cause distress. In those cases, students may want to consult with a counselor or medical provider at Parton or in the community to help them sort out the concerns.





Eating Issues

Sometimes students have concerns about their weight and their relationship with food. If you or someone you know has concerns about this issue, please call and talk with a nurse who can provide support and information. Parton Health and Counseling Center can offer a range of services for students who have food-related concerns. Individual counseling, group information and support, and nutrition counseling are available.