Food isn't just our fuel – it carries rich layers of social and cultural symbolism, as well as personal psychological meaning.

Taken together with the image and body-consciousness of western culture, it is not surprising that food can become a symptom, and sometimes a source, of emotional difficulties. Distress focused on food and eating is a relatively common issue for students, and affects both male and female students.

If you're finding that your relationship with food has become a source of distress or difficulty, then it's a good idea to seek help as soon as possible. If you think you may have an eating disorder then it is important to consult a GP. It is also advisable to consult your GP if you are feeling persistently low, or if your difficulties are significantly affecting your daily functioning.

Let your personal tutor or course leader know if you are having difficulties affecting your studies – they are there to help, and can offer useful advice and support.

You can learn skills to help you tackle issues with body image and general confidence, and there's a lot of support available to start treatment for eating difficulties or disorder.

Useful resources for food issues

Beat >

National charity providing information on eating disorders as well as helplines, online support and a network of UK-wide self-help groups for people affected by eating disorders.

Mind >

Mind is a national charity supporting people with their wellbeing, including offering information on eating problems.

Student Minds >

Student Minds specialise in support for students, including those experiencing difficulties around food and eating.

More wellbeing help

Take a look at our other resources and sources of support for help with everything - from issues with alcohol, to healing from trauma.

Access resources and support >

Wellbeing courses, workshops and events

Get involved in the free support available for you at uni, including support groups, drop-in events and the annual Feel Good Fest.

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Wellbeing resources and other support

Expert advice from the NHS, charities and more.

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Student Wellbeing Service

Learn more about the help we offer for personal and emotional worries.

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Contact the Student Wellbeing Service

Access mental health support and guidance from our friendly team of wellbeing advisers, counsellors and advisers:

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Or you can contact us via:

You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook.

Worried about a student? Whether you're a friend, member of University staff, family member or medical professional you can raise a concern so our service can help.