GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Eating disorders are the most deadly mental illness, according to experts at the Carolina House Eating Disorder Treatment Center.
To bring awareness to this epidemic, East Carolina University is hosting a series of programs in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Between classes, ECU students had the unique opportunity to smash away their insecurities and find a sense of freedom.
With bats in hand, students could whack a bathroom scale as part of Southern Smash.
ECU says the event encourages body positivity and lets students know about the resources available if they find themselves struggling with an eating disorder.
Organizers say one in five college students is struggling with an eating disorder.
"Eating disorders do affect everyone, there's not a population that's not affected," says Leanne Raiford with Carolina House.
"A lot of people think like body image or eating disorders, any of that stuff is a female problem, but it is also a male problem," explains sophomore Anthony Sohan.
Some of the ECU students at the event say they know what it is like to worry about body image and say this was a great opportunity to release some of that negativity.
ECU is hosting a series of events this week, including a lecture that will be presented by a speaker from Harvard Medical School on Wednesday.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week recognizes the 30 million people in our country struggling with an eating disorder.