University of Vermont



HOPE stands for Help Overcome Problem Eating. HOPE is a multidisciplinary team of professionals committed to promoting positive body image and supporting students who struggle with problem eating.

Do You...

  • Feel guilty after eating something high in fat?
  • Constantly compare yourself with others?
  • Wish for a perfect body?
  • Skip meals to control your weight?
  • Feel the need to weigh yourself often?
  • Often eat less than you want?
  • Feel secretive about eating?
  • Think about food often?
  • Feel unsure about how much you "should" eat?
  • Exercise according to the amount you've eaten?
  • Feel as if your eating is out of control?
  • Feel the need to purge after eating?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, consider getting in touch with the HOPE Team.

We offer individual assessment and treatment for students who have or may have disordered eating or body image issues. If needed,treatment typically includes regular medical followups and counseling.

We are also happy to provide information on how you can help a friend or family member in need.

The HOPE team sponsors education and prevention programs on the UVM campus. We also speak to classes, teams, clubs, and other groups about body image and problem eating. Call us to request a visit .

The HOPE Team includes representation from the areas Psychiatry, Medicine, Counseling, Nutrition, Women's Health, and Athletic Medicine.

Contact the HOPE Team

Students can initiate confidential evaluation and care (or just seek information) by contacting any HOPE Team member:

  • Candace Polzella, MSS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian at the Center for Health & Wellbeing: 802-656-FOOD.
  • Anne Clegg, MD, is a staff Psychiatrist at UVM's Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS): 656-3340.
  • Mary Beth Curry, MS, LCMHC, is a staff counselor at UVM's Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS): 656-3340.

Jon Porter, MD, serves as Consultant to the HOPE Team. He is the Director of UVM's Center for Health & Wellbeing. Doctor Porter is board certified in Internal Medicine.

Other Resources:

Signs of Problem Eating include:

  • Preoccupation with body image, food, calories, or weight
  • Fear of loss of control over eating
  • Skipping meals
  • Rituals around food preparation or eating
  • Decreased variety of foods eaten
  • Self-induced vomiting, "purging"
  • Preoccupation with exercise
  • Abuse of laxatives, water pills, or diet pills
  • Change in or absence of menstrual periods
  • Consuming large amounts of food at one time, "bingeing"
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Fear of weight gain
  • Secrecy with eating behavior

If this sounds like you, please contact the HOPE Team today.

Last modified June 16 2015 10:25 AM