Friends Don't Let Friends 'Fat Talk'; Tri Delta Tackles Women's Body Image Issues With 'Fat Talk Free Week' and Reflections

Seventeen Magazine, National Organization for Women (NOW), National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) Join Forces with Tri Delta for Fat Talk Free Week

Arlington, Texas, UNITED STATES

ARLINGTON, Texas, Oct. 13, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta), a leader among social Greek organizations, joins with Seventeen Magazine, NOW, NEDA and AED today to kick off 'Fat Talk Free(tm) Week', a 5-day public awareness effort to draw attention to the damaging impact of 'fat talk' on women of all ages and their impossible pursuit of 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. This nationwide body activism event coincides with the official launch of Tri Delta's body image education and eating disorders prevention program, Reflections, the world's first peer-led eating disorders prevention program shown to increase body satisfaction, countering thin ideal pressures that begin in childhood. Piloted at 12 major universities with more than 12,000 hours of research already invested, Reflections will touch the lives of at least 20,000 young women in the next five years. More information on Fat Talk Free Week and Reflections can be found at

"Body image issues can be hazardous to women's health and self-esteem," said Kim Gandy, president of NOW Foundation. "It's time to toss fat talk along with our impossible pursuit of the thin ideal once and for all. Fat Talk Free Week has the power to help change the way women and girls think and feel about their bodies. For more than 10 years, NOW Foundation has encouraged all women to love their bodies, and we are proud to partner with Tri Delta for this week of positive body activism."

Fat Talk Free Week begins today with a wake-up call about the serious downside of pursuing the thin ideal and the subversive nature of everyday fat talk, as told through the powerful and easily accessible medium of a viral video campaign ( Each day of body activism shares statistics of body image issues relevant to a different segment of the female population, and an easy activity that anyone can do to begin to turn the tide on fat talk and negative body image. The week unfolds as follows:

 - Mon., Oct. 13: Issue education, body image statistics, viral video 
   distribution and Fat Talk Free Promise open for signatures
 - Tues., Oct. 14: 'Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the thinnest of
   them all?'; how school-age girls are internalizing the thin ideal
 - Wed., Oct. 15: College campus focus, and how the pioneering 
   Reflections program is beginning to heal the damage that body 
   dissatisfaction has caused among college women
 - Thurs., Oct. 16: Emphasis on body image issues that exist among 
   adult and mature women
 - Fri., Oct. 17: Spotlight on mothers and daughters, and how to 
   counteract today's thin-ideal obsessed world when raising children 

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.

"Sororities in particular have gotten an unfair reputation for breeding body image issues in college. But with a shocking 46 percent of 9-11 year-olds 'sometimes' or 'very often' on diets, research now shows that body image issues don't begin in college or in a sorority - they actually begin much earlier and last much, much longer," said Jackye Clark, president of Tri Delta. "With thousands of young women joining our organization each year, we realized that we are in a highly unique position to begin to free women from this devastating pattern of fat talk and chasing the thin ideal. And Reflections and Fat Talk Free Week were born."

Reflections is groundbreaking in several ways:

 * The first peer-led eating disorders program that has been repeatedly 
   shown to work
 * The first time Oxford University Press has partnered with a national
   Greek organization
 * The first major body image program launched by a national Greek 
 * The first program of its kind to have undergraduate college students
   leading the interventions
 * The first body image program developed to leverage the unique 
   structure of sororities
 * No other eating disorders prevention program has undergone such 
   rigorous testing by independent scientists
 * The majority of participants emerged with a more positive overall 
   body image, even eight months after going through the program

"Reflections helped me realize the negative impact that the media and society really has on how we view and value ourselves," said Melissa Maldonado, a junior at Texas A&M University, member of Tri Delta, and both a participant and peer facilitator for Reflections. "I now reevaluate the way I see others and myself, and have taken steps to let go of that thin ideal that is so unrealistic and harmful. Thanks to this powerful program, my focus is on inner beauty and strength."

Reflections represents the first peer-led eating disorder prevention program to effectively challenge the thin ideal among college women. To date, Reflections has been held on the following major campuses: Clemson University, Texas Christian University, Texas A&M University, University of Wisconsin, University of Arizona, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest University, The University of Texas at Dallas, North Carolina State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Millikin University, Emory University and Auburn University, and will be held at Southern Methodist University this fall.

Thanks to Tri Delta's underwriting of the program materials and its publication by Oxford University Press, Reflections is now officially available to Greek organizations and universities nationwide. To date, national sororities Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Gamma and Pi Beta Phi have approved this program and manuals for implementation at one or more campuses, and several other sororities and universities have expressed interest in the program. Tri Delta is also launching a formal training program for peer facilitators called "Reflections: Body Image Academy" later this fall.

About Tri Delta

Founded 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 or call 817-633-8001.

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