Many providers treating athletes may feel conflicted regarding the role of exercise within eating disorder treatment and may disallow the activity altogether. Although exercise restriction is appropriate and medically necessary for some, it can, unfortunately, lead many individuals to feel dissatisfied with the recovery process.
Knowing and understanding biological, psychological and environmental factors that could contribute to the development of an eating disorder in athletes is critical in preparing and safeguarding oneself from falling into unhealthy coping strategies and practices.
While participating in sports can be very beneficial for growing children and adolescents, there are pieces of competitive athletics that can take a negative toll on their medical and psychological statuses. Here are some things to consider for parents and coaches of young athletes.
“Athletes are at 2 to 3 times increased risk for developing an eating disorder compared to nonathletes,” said Paula A. Quatromoni, DSc, RD, the chair of health sciences at Boston University who helped create GOALS, an eating disorder treatment program for competitive athletes at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA.
The 2018 Games are producing dazzling displays of athleticism, but they're also a reminder that many young athletes at all levels of their sport grapple with eating disorders. Several high-profile Olympic athletes, such as U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon and Canadian figure skater Gabrielle Daleman, have recently spoken publicly about their struggles with an eating disorder.
Athletes are 2-3 times more likely than the average individual to develop an eating disorder, making male athletes a vulnerable subgroup. So why are male athletes at risk? Here are five reasons to consider.
Athletes are always looking for an edge over their competitors. As such, they are often more vulnerable to (the less than truthful) claims made by nutritional supplement companies.
One hallmark symptom of underfueling and overtraining in the female athlete however, that cannot and should not be missed, is a change in the menstrual cycle.
Athletes can easily find themselves confused by mixed messages and empty promises of products or regimens that simply don’t deliver. Here, we tackle some common misperceptions that can actually undermine an athletes’ performance when myths are not challenged by facts.
While many who participate in organized sports reap the many benefits such as increased self esteem, connectedness and greater body image, others have a different experience. Pressure to perform and compete at high levels can place undo stress on those who might be at risk for mental health conditions including eating disorders.
This semester, I have the amazing opportunity to serve as a nutrition intern for the Walden GOALS Program for competitive athletes. I''ve discovered these four things, all which came as a surprise (at least to me):
While there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach in determining when / if someone struggling with an eating disorder could return to exercise or their sport, here are some of the criterion we use to help determine the appropriateness of incorporating exercise back into the life of an eating disorder patient.
An interview with the Senior Consultant to Walden Behavioral Care's GOALS program, an eating disorders treatment track designed especially for competitive athletes, Paula Quatromoni, DSc, MS, RD, LDN
Exercise has many internal benefits that should never be ignored. If you are having a hard time navigating your relationships with exercise, check out some of these tips to keep exercise a win-win!
Boston University cross country star Andrea Walkonen won her second straight America East title in 2008, her lithe five-foot, seven-inch frame gliding across the 5K finish line a clean 34 seconds ahead of her nearest opponent.
Learn more about Matthew and GOALS, our specialized treatment program for athletes struggling with eating disorders.
Eating disorders happen in all sports, to athletes of all ages, competitive levels, body types and genders. Most worrisome, they can be difficult to detect, even by the most seasoned athletic trainer, coach or concerned parent.
So how much exercise IS too much exercise? Here are 10 universal warning signs that could be indicative of an exercise addiction.
In gyms across America, the biggest barometer for success are marked by external physical indicators– fat burned, pounds lost and waist sizes dropped – without adequate regard to mental health or internal physical benefits.
Opening Day is still six weeks away, and the sporting world is already considering it a lost season for Pablo Sandoval. Since when does a little extra weight doom an athlete to failure? And what gives us the right to assume that because someone has gained weight, they are no longer a viable athlete?
Every year around this time memories flood in of back to school and specifically for me back to dance. Dance was (and still is) an integral part of my life and unfortunately so were eating disorders.
When I read the headline, “Magazine puts a Plus Size Model on the Cover and Twitter Freaks out”, my first reaction was one of frustration. Why, I thought, is the world so irritated by larger bodies? What is it about plus size models that people react so strongly to? Why can’t plus size models be shown running on the cover of a runner’s magazine? Would a plus size male model have caused Twitter to “freak out”?
It’s no secret that we live in a diet-obsessed, social-media influenced, quick-fix seeking culture these days. New diets and workouts seem to crop up every week, thinness and fitness are valued, and we are quick to compare pictures, goals, and results across social media platforms and in day to day conversation. According to the Healthy Weight Network, in the U.S., we spend more than 50 billion dollars a year on diet products!
Among athletes in general, bulimia is the most common eating disorder.
Anyone can develop an eating disorder, and athletes as a group are more likely to develop eating disorders than non-athletes, but which athletes are at the greatest risk?
There have been few reports of professional athletes with eating disorders, but that’s not surprising. For an athlete to admit that he or she has an eating disorder would be about as helpful to a career as admitting to taking anabolic steroids.
While I can create a long list for you of why athletes are at risk for eating disorders and all the factors that stack the deck, I can create an equally long list of skills athletes bring the process of recovery. In some ways, the two endeavors are very similar: athletics ask us to work towards challenging goals using our body, mind and spirit, and recovery does the very same thing.
Uncomfortable, finds me in so many places. It weaves its wiggly ways into so many parts of my day, so many experiences, piggybacking onto so many other feelings and emotions. Uncomfortable used to just feel like the colossal crowd of hate that held parties and concerts in my body. I just wanted out of my own skin. Uncomfortable used to be the one I ran away from with the same desperate rush one would flee from a serial killer. Uncomfortable was the sadness, anger, confusion, etc. I couldn't deal with on my own.
Athletes are two to three times more susceptible to eating disorders than the general population. And their eating disorders are often triggered by a few words from their coach.
The other day I had an event for work. Events always feel reminiscent of athletic competitions for me. They are a lot of work leading up to a single moment of performance. So many pieces must come together for them to be successful.