Healthy Eating

Eating Disorder Treatment Team


Individual nutrition services on all nutrition topics are offered FREE of charge to all ECU students and are provided by our Registered Dietitian. Students can make a nutrition appointment by calling (252) 328-6841.

What to expect at your nutrition appointment:
The initial nutrition consult will be one hour. The dietitian will ask questions to help assess your eating patterns and food choices. Students are welcome to bring in a 3-day food record to help make their session more personalized. During your visit the dietitian will be able to help you set some personal goals, discuss how to make dietary changes, make specific diet and nutrition recommendations, as well as answer any specific questions you may have. A schedule for follow up sessions will then be determined, based on your desired goals and progress.

Healthy Eating

Vegetables and Fruits:
Add color and crunch to your diet plus they are powerful tools in weight management efforts and prevention of chronic diseases.

  • Enjoy at least 2 cups of vegetables daily
  • Raw, stir-fried, steamed, grilled or roasted – from fresh or frozen
  • Canned are also valuable (drain and rinse to reduce sodium)
  • Fresh, frozen or canned (light syrup or juice)
  • Limit juice and dried fruits to lower calories

Whole Grains:
Eating moderate amounts of grains throughout the day will help you maintain energy.

  • Choose whole-wheat bread, brown rice or whole-wheat pasta for more fiber, vitamins and minerals
  • Include a these foods at breakfast, lunch and snacks for energy
  • Minimum of 5 oz of grains daily – make at least 3 oz whole grains

Protein / Dairy:
These foods help build and repair muscles, bones, skin and blood.

  • Include 5-6 oz of dried beans, lentils, peas, nuts, fish, poultry, eggs or lean red meat daily
  • Two to three cups of dairy – nonfat or low fat. Calcium fortified soy products also provide protein as well as calcium and other minerals and vitamins

Heart Healthy Fats:
Fats from plant sources are generally low in saturated fat and high in mono and polyunsaturated fats (heart healthy).

  • Eat nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, peanut butter and vegetable oils in small amounts at each meal to stave off hunger and promote healthy blood cholesterol
  • Include fish once or twice weekly for heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • Avoid Trans-fat
  • Limit saturated fats found in meat, full fat dairy products, and fried foods

Dietary Guidelines

Food groups to encourage:

  • Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.
  • Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains.
  • Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.


  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep Trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
  • Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products, make choices that are lean, low fat, or fat-free.
  • Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or Trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.


  • Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often.
  • Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners.
  • Reduce the incidence of dental caries by practicing good oral hygiene and consuming sugar- and starch-containing foods and beverages less frequently.

Sodium and Potassium:

  • Consume less than 2,300 mg (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt) of sodium per day.
  • Choose and prepare foods with little salt. At the same time, consume potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

Alcoholic Beverages:

  • Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation—defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
  • Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed by some individuals, including those who cannot restrict their alcohol intake, women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, pregnant and lactating women, children and
    adolescents, individuals taking medications that can interact with alcohol, and those with specific medical conditions.
  • Alcoholic beverages should be avoided by individuals engaging in activities that require attention, skill, or coordination, such as driving or operating machinery.

Food Safety (To avoid microbial food-borne illness):

  • Clean hands, food contact surfaces, and fruits and vegetables. Meat and poultry should not be washed or rinsed.
  • Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing foods.
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms.
  • Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly.
  • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, unpasteurized juices, and raw sprouts.

Eating Disorder Treatment Team

Eating concerns range on a continuum from disordered eating problems, such as occasionally under or overeating with minimal body image disturbance, to more extreme forms of restriction and/or other disruptive eating behaviors, such as binge/purge behaviors, accompanied by intense body image dissatisfaction. Eating concerns, especially clinical eating disorders, involve psychological (i.e., body image dissatisfaction, low self-esteem; intense fear of gaining weight, etc.); physical (i.e., weight loss; loss of menstrual cycle; etc.); and nutritional (i.e., disruptive eating patterns; restricted caloric intake; etc.) components. As a result, we believe that students who struggle from eating concerns benefit most from a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that targets the psychological, physical, and nutritional facets of eating problems.

The Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) and Student Health Services (SHS) at ECU has established a multidisciplinary treatment team including CCSD psychologists and/or counselors; a SHS physician; a SHS Registered Dietitian; and other necessary health care professionals. The Eating Disorders Treatment Team (EDTT) provides comprehensive psychological counseling; medical assessments, and nutritional counseling to students struggling with eating concerns. The EDTT also meets on a monthly basis to review cases and treatment plans while also discussing ways to reach out to and educate the broader university community around these issues.

The EDTT provides the following specific services:
1. Psychological: The CCSD provides short-term individual and group psychotherapy aimed at exploring the underlying feelings and function of the disordered eating behavior while also developing more effective coping skills to manage the disordered eating thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

2. Physical: SHS provides evaluations aimed at identifying medical complications resulting from the disordered eating pattern. Other co-existing conditions may also be explored and ruled out on an individual basis. Medical Treatment plans and follow up evaluations are also created.

3. Nutritional: SHS provides nutrition education, which includes but is not limited to explaining the role of nutrition and food, identifying disordered eating behaviors, and discussing disordered thoughts and feeling about food and eating. The dietitian will work with the patient to develop individualized meal plans or guidelines that lead toward the long-term goal of regular, adequate meals and normal eating behaviors.

At times students may require higher levels of care than can be provided by the EDTT. If after an initial consultation appointment this is determined to be the case, referrals to appropriate community resources will be provided and all members of the EDTT will be notified.

During the initial consultation appointment, which may take place either through the CCSD or SHS, the student will be informed of the nature and purpose of the EDTT. Should the evaluating professional determine a referral to the EDTT to be appropriate, the student will be asked to sign an EDTT consent form and a release of information granting permission for the exchange of information between the CCSD and SHS treatment team members. Information exchanged will be used for the purposes of coordinating care and developing an individualized treatment plan for each student.

Students may refuse treatment by the EDTT. If the evaluating professional; however, deems a referral to the EDTT as the appropriate treatment recommendation, then the student may be referred to community resources for ongoing services unless it is an emergency situation.

Referrals to the EDTT are made by CCSD and/or SHS professional staff members. If you believe a student might benefit from treatment provided by the EDTT, please have the student schedule an initial consultation appointment with Dr. Joseph Armen, SHS physician, at 328-6841, or Jeanne Finney, SHS Registered Dietitian, at 328-6841.


General Nutrition
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

American Heart Association, Diet & Nutrition:

Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion:

Choose My Plate:

Dietary Supplements
NIH Office of Dietary Supplements:

Body Image/Eating Disorders
Adios Barbie:

ANRED (Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders):

Body Positive:

Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center
National Eating Disorders Association:

The Vegetarian Resource Group: