Support for disordered eating & related concerns
Cornell Health’s “Collaborative Health and Eating Program” (CHEP)* is a coordinated, multidisciplinary team of Cornell Health providers who work together to support students struggling with disordered eating and related concerns.
CHEP team members are made up of medical, nursing, nutrition, psychiatry, and counseling providers. This multidisciplinary team approach has been shown to offer the highest standard of care for treatment of eating disorders. (Learn more about our our philosophy of care.)
If you're struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder – or if your feelings and behaviors related to body image and eating begin to impede your ability to participate in and enjoy life – it’s important to seek help. Even occasional binging, purging, restricted eating, excessive exercise, or body obsession can negatively impact your health and your ability to study and learn. Learn more about eating disorders and disordered eating, below.
*formerly called "Cornell Healthy Eating Program"
Who we serve
- Students who are struggling with disordered eating patterns, preoccupation with food, and/or body image
- Students who think they may have an eating disorder, or who have a history of an eating disorder
- Students of all sizes, genders, identities, and lived experiences
CHEP services include ...
- Short-term individual counseling and group counseling
- Psychotropic medication initiation and/or management
- Nutrition support and education
- Medical care including primary care and nursing support
- Referrals to outside services and treatment programs
- Coordination with other Cornell campus partners, including other healthcare providers, dining services, health leaves, and others, when appropriate and with permission from student
- Consultation about helping someone you care about
CHEP providers can help you ...
- Evaluate and understand your individual nutritional needs
- Develop nutritional strategies to support your health, fitness, or performance
- Better understand the connection between food intake, metabolism, and physical and mental health
- Navigate barriers to balanced eating including managing time, food access, stress and anxiety, complicated food environments (dining halls, learning to cook for oneself), and competitive and recreational sports
- Ensure that nutritional needs are being met related to a medical condition, food allergies, or specific intake needs
- Cultivate a more respectful, neutral and/or positive body image
When to contact CHEP
We encourage you to reach out to our CHEP team for support if any of the following applies to you:
- High stress or preoccupation regarding food, body image, weight, shape, or size
- Engaging in behaviors including skipping meals, fasting, cutting out food groups, vomiting, use of diet pills/laxatives, or over-exercising
- Binge eating or otherwise feeling out of control around food
- Negative impact on important aspects of your life, such as relationships, academics, physical or mental health
- Previous diagnosis of an eating disorder or current concern from friends, family, or mentors
Start by scheduling a nutrition, medical, or counseling appointment – whichever service feels like the best fit for you. Our CHEP team is made up of providers from all three areas who work together to support students. You can schedule an appointment by logging in to myCornellHealth or by calling 607-255-5155.
CHEP’s model of care is informed by principles originally outlined by the Health at Every Size philosophy that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting healthy habits for the sake of health and well-being. These principles include:
Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes
Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite
Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital
An eating disorder is a clinical diagnosis of an illness that causes severe disturbances in a person's eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. The most common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorders. Learn more on our About Eating Disorders fact sheet.
Disordered eating refers to eating patterns and behaviors that have a negative impact on a person's health and quality of life. Disordered eating may include (but are not limited to) a rigid food and exercise regime, feelings of guilt and shame related to food and eating, and a preoccupation with food, body image, weight, shape, or size.
- When it's time to get support: The National Eating Disorders Association self-screening tool can help determine if it's time to seek professional help for an eating disorder or disordered eating concerns.
- See also: Not Sick Enough (video) – a teen's story of finding treatment for an eating disorder
If you’re concerned about someone else
If you're concerned about a student who you believe might be struggling with disordered eating, support is available from our Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) team and from other campus offices and resources. Please refer to the following pages for details: