Newswise — Ringer Distinguished Professor of Psychology Melinda Green hasn’t missed a beat on her research about the heart’s relationship to eating disorders for 15 years.

It has focused on the fact that there is a certain marker that is present in women with diagnosable eating disorders, but each year new discoveries are made.

“Now, we are trying to find out what shifts within their physiology are leading to cardiac risk,” Green said. “We are trying to identify the predictors of that marker.”

Students help with the work, and the summer of 2017  is no different. Elisabeth Sage ’19 and Green are spending the 10 weeks of the Cornell Summer Research Institute (CSRI) analyzing data and writing up results for scholarly journals.

“This year we just finished a two-year trial that looked at an online prevention project for women struggling with disordered eating,” Green said. “We are hoping the online program would be effective because we could widely distribute it to the school districts, and it could be accessible out in the community because treatment is really expensive. We’d like to have a tool that’s more widely available to women who are struggling. So, we are analyzing the data from that project to see if it was effective in helping them with their symptoms.”

The online tool focuses on educating women and encouraging them to share messages that fight the “thin ideal.”

“There are a couple good findings in our data,” Sage said as she just started going through the data. “I think the biggest takeaway is that eating disorders symptoms did go down through time.”

For more about this CSRI research, watch their video.