Dietitians and Nutritionists for College Students and Young Adults

College Students and Young Adults
College students and young adults

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) estimates at least 10-20% of college-age women and 4-10% of college-age men struggle with an eating disorder.

Eating disorders in college students are rapidly on the rise. The college environment puts students in a vulnerable place, placing them at a high risk for developing an eating disorder. Some contributing factors include:

  • Leaving home, often for the first time
  • Increased independence and increased responsibility
  • Being away from their support system of family and friends
  • Pressure for academic success
  • Pressure from society to maintain a certain body shape and size
  • Increased presence of social media
  • Desires to “fit in” in an unfamiliar place
  • Increased exposure to drugs and alcohol
  • Less structure
  • Struggles with navigating dining halls and food options

The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA)

How Do We Help College Students and Young Adults?

Finding the right support for an eating disorder in college can be overwhelming to say the least. The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone! The team at Courage to Nourish understands the challenges young adults and college students face in recovery from an eating disorder. Our individual sessions will include but are not limited to, challenging food rules and busting nutrition myths, learning how to navigate the dining hall and dining out with friends, and how to prioritize your recovery and nutrition needs even when peers and friends are struggling to do the same. Courage to Nourish offers a weekly support group where you can connect with other recovery-focused individuals, and our College Park office is in walking distance to the University of Maryland. Our team will collaborate with your student’s health center and all other members of their medical team, to ensure they have the proper care.

Nutrition Services We Offer


One on One Nutrition Counseling Sessions

Consistent, specialized care is paramount when treating an eating disorder. Courage to Nourish provides individualized care specific to each person. We will explore your relationship with food, provide accurate, gentle nutrition education, evaluate growth charts as needed, and provide personalized meal planning guidance.

virtual support group

Virtual Support Group
for the College Students and Young Adults

Eating disorders can be lonely and isolating, leaving your college student oftentimes feeling misunderstood. We offer a free, weekly support group to provide a safe space to be around other recovery-focused individuals who are learning to prioritize recovery and find meaning outside of their eating disorder.

virtual support group for families

Virtual Support Group
for Family and Loved Ones

Supporting your college student in their recovery can often leave you feeling exhausted and hopeless. We offer a monthly free support group to allow family and loved ones to discuss the ups and downs of being in a supportive, caregiving role, learning how to take care of yourself along the way, and find comfort that you are not alone.

Meal Support and Experientials in Session

Mealtimes in recovery are often filled with anxiety and stress, especially in the college setting.. Having support at meal times is an important part of the healing process. Eating together in session with your dietitian can allow for a safe space to challenge food rules and judgements.

FAQs About Our Services for Young Adults

How do I know if my college student needs support?

Below are some signs that your college student may be struggling with an eating disorder and would benefit from nutrition counseling sessions:

  • Are they exhibiting rigidity in their routines, especially around food?
  • Have you noticed drastic changes in how they are eating, what and when they are willing to eat?
  • Do they feel their self-worth and self-esteem is dependent on body size, eating/not eating certain foods, or how much physical activity they do in a day?
  • Are they socially withdrawing, showing decreased interest in activities, irritable or having mood swings out of the ordinary?
  • Is your college student reporting concern around their weight, shape or size?
  • Use your gut as a parent! If you believe something is amiss, we’d be happy to set up a call to discuss how we can support you and your young adult.

How long will it take for my college student to recover from their eating disorder?

Treating an eating disorder takes a long time! Most likely, we will start off meeting with your loved one weekly, at a minimum for 6 months, however everyone’s journey is different. It is crucial you get help for your college student right away. Keep in mind that recovery is not a linear process. There will be ups and downs along the way, which is why it is so important to have a specialized team.

What are typical individual sessions with the dietitian like for my college student?

Care at Courage to Nourish is very individualized, and therefore different for each client. However, our work together will include:

  • Eliminating shame and guilt surrounding eating
  • Spending less time thinking about food and body image
  • Managing nutrition concerns through a weight-inclusive approach
  • Re-learning intuitive eating
  • Discovering a more body positive body image through body trust and appreciation

We Offer In-Person and Online Services
for College Students and Young Adults at These Locations

About Courage to Nourish

Courage to Nourish is a group of eating disorder specialized dietitians. We have in person locations in Alexandria, Virginia, Columbia, Maryland, and College Park, Maryland. We offer virtual services across the state of Maryland. Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. We offer individual nutrition therapy. As well as support groups. We would love to guide you in building a better relationship with food.

Courage to Nourish team

Interested in finding out more?

Tell us more about how we can help you.

Let us know if you prefer to be seen at one of our locations or virtually!

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Body Image Workbook


The Body Image Workbook