Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Friends Don't Let Friends 'Fat Talk': Tri Delta Launches 2nd Annual 'Fat Talk Free(R) Week' to Combat Negative Body Image Among Women

ARLINGTON, Texas, Oct. 19, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tri Delta, a leader among social Greek organizations, announced the return of 'Fat Talk Free Week' (Oct. 19-23), an international 5-day body activism campaign to draw attention to body image issues and the damaging impact of the 'thin ideal' on women in society. This 2nd annual public awareness effort was borne from Tri Delta's award-winning peer-led body image education and eating disorders prevention program, Reflections.

"Fat Talk" is classified as statements that explicitly or implicitly reinforce the unattainable thin-ideal standard of female beauty promoted by our culture. Next week, women are encouraged to avoid using phrases like: "I feel fat today;" "I can't eat that, it will make me fat;" "she shouldn't wear that it because it makes her look fat;" or even "Wow, you look great - have you lost weight?" While it may seem harmless, research indicates that a mere 3-5 minutes of engaging in this type of talk substantially increases body dissatisfaction (Stice, 2003).

"We developed Fat Talk Free Week and Reflections as the catalyst to ignite a revolution of body activism among women everywhere," said Jackye Clark, president of Tri Delta. "As an organization with thousands of women joining each year, we are in a very unique position to actively work toward eliminating the devastating pattern of fat talk and chasing the thin ideal."

Today in the U.S., more than 10 million women are battling an eating disorder, which is more than four times the number of women suffering from breast cancer. Further, recent studies have shown that more than two thirds of women ages 18-25 would rather be mean or stupid than be fat and over 50 percent would rather be hit by a truck (Martin, 2007).

Tri Delta co-developed Reflections with Carolyn Becker, Ph.D, FAED, of Trinity University, and the local sororities on that campus. Reflections not only reduces eating disorder risk factors and improves body image perceptions among participants, it also enables facilitators to gain valuable academic and leadership experience and promotes a more cohesive community of women on campus.

Since introducing Fat Talk Free Week and the official launch of Reflections in 2008, Tri Delta has reached millions of women internationally through a variety of outlets including a viral video campaign distributed via email and You Tube, campus activism events and community outreach, media exposure and more.

Major partnerships include the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED), National Organization for Women Foundation (NOW), National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, among many other non-profit organizations and for-profit corporations.

Fat Talk Free Week 2009 kicks off with a humbling message about the serious downside of pursuing the thin ideal and the damaging nature of everyday 'fat talk', as told through a powerful viral video campaign. Additional highlights throughout the week will include:

* Daily E-mail Challenges with thought-provoking statistics and simple, immediate body activism exercises

* Sign the Fat Talk Free Week Promise online, donate your Facebook profile to the cause, and promote the issue virally through social media

* Body Image Activism Events on college campuses around the country

* Community Special Events, including the Re(Define) (Real)ity(TM) Fashion Show, sponsored by the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness and Little in the Middle

For more information about sponsors, events happening throughout the week and a direct link to the video, visit: www.endfattalk.org

To date, Tri Delta has already rolled the program out to 22 Tri Delta chapters across the nation and over 34 campuses, impacting more than 6,600 women, with another 30 campuses scheduled by spring of 2010. Tri Delta is committed to educating at least 20,000 college women in coming years.

About Tri Delta
Having initiated over 200,000 women since its founding in 1888, Tri Delta is a leader among social Greek organizations through its passion for progress and visionary thinking. Through partnerships with nationally recognized organizations like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, award-winning publications like The Trident, and innovative collegiate and alumnae initiatives, Tri Delta is committed to leveraging our timeless values to revitalize the sorority experience. For more information, please visit www.tridelta.org or call 817-633-8001.

For more information about Reflections - visit www.bodyimageprogram.org

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