Posts Tagged: eating habits

Eating Disorders and Over-Exercise in Collegiate Recreation (Part II)

October 18, 2015

A Reflection on the Last 15 Years

Adrian A. Shepard, MS, RCRSP
Recreation Management Program Faculty, Madison College

Editor’s Note: this is part 2 in the series

It’s essential for recreation professionals to know and understand their scope of practice. Unless qualified to do so, recreation professionals can’t diagnose eating disorders. However, they can look for observable signs that may signify eating disorders. The following table provides behaviors and symptoms associated with eating disorders as provided by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED). Read more

Eating Disorders and Over-Exercise in Collegiate Recreation (Part I)

September 15, 2014

Eating Disorders and Over-Exercise in Collegiate Recreation (Part I):

A Reflection on the Last 15 Years

Adrian A. Shepard, MS, RCRSP

Recreation Management Program Faculty, Madison College

The following information has been inspired by and extracted from the 2014 NIRSA Annual Conference & Exposition presentation, Eating Disorders and Over-Exercise: Reflection on 15 Years of Experience, conceived by the late Karen Miller from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and presented by Cathy Jewell from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Katie Kage from the University of Northern Colorado, Jill Urkoski from the University of Kansas and Adrian Shepard from Madison College.

Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series.

Collegiate Recreation has evolved from primarily intramurals and club sports to include aquatics, outdoor/challenge education, fitness, wellness, environmentalism and sustainability. With this growth comes great opportunity for recreation professionals to expand their knowledge and help meet the emerging needs of those they serve on a holistic level.

Research continues to show the positive impact Collegiate Recreation has on student recruitment, retention, academic performance, life skills development and wellbeing. However, this opportunity to impact others isn’t without challenges. In particular, (especially in fitness and facility operations), understanding what steps to take when there is a concern for students who may be struggling with high-risk behaviors such as eating disorders and over-exercise. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 95% of those with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 26. The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders found that of this population, nearly 25% of college-age women engage in bingeing and purging as a weight management technique.

Contrary to popular believe, such behaviors aren’t limited to females as 10-15% of males struggle with anorexia or bulimia (Carlat and Camargo, 1997). Research also indicates that over one-half of females and nearly one-third of males attempt to control their weight by skipping meals, fasting and taking laxatives (Neumark-Sztainer, 2005). Media and perception complicates matters by reinforcing unhealthy behaviors as the body type portrayed in advertising as ideal is possessed by just 5% of American females (Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, 2003). As people attempt to lose weight, 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of this population, 20-25% progress to partial or full eating disorders.

As a result, campus personnel have dedicated more time and effort towards identifying program participants and recreation facility patrons who could be at risk (Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., Estes, L.S. 1995). Read more

Eating Disorders — Understanding and Identifying

February 25, 2014

New Year’s Resolution and Spring Break Extremes
Alison Epperson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Health Ed.
Murray State University

How many times have you been to the gym since January 1st? As a regular patron of our wellness center, I get cracked up every year at the large volume of patrons coming into the facility eager to shed some additional weight gained during the “eating season” (what I refer to the time between Halloween and New Year’s), and attempt yet another New Year’s resolution.

Oftentimes, a different attitude for spending so much time in the fitness facility (I’m referring to the students) is dedicated to Spring Break (aka bikini week). Since most colleges/universities traditionally have spring break somewhere during the month of March, this leaves approximately 6-8 weeks from the start of the New Year for college students to get ‘beach ready.’ Since nearly every minute of college life seems to be documented and imaged via social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) it appears as though both males and females feel extra pressure to appear fit and trim for the ritualistic southern migration to warmer climates.

Sadly, as our American culture has become obsessed with weight, we have in turn, created a monster. We chastise our own population for an obesity crisis, while seemingly ignoring the polar opposite, starvation. In my opinion, “diet” is now one of the worst four-letter words in our language because it is often carried to an extreme, not consistently followed, and repeated over and over again with no sustained positive long term effects.
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Campus Recreation in the 21st Century:

January 17, 2012

Addressing Over-Exercise and Eating Disorders

Adrian A. Shepard
Coordinator of Integrated Wellness
Winona State University

The college experience prepares young adults for meaning, purpose, and success by providing the tools necessary for living well-balanced lifestyles. Life-long learning transcends the classroom and extends well into student life and, more specifically, campus recreation. Recreation significantly impacts and influences the lives of college students via the missions set forth by campus recreation departments and woven into the fabric of university life. With an overall shift towards whole person wellness how do we address high-risk behaviors such as over-exercise and eating disorders occurring within the campus recreation setting?

Questions seeking best practices and the identification of universities with established protocols for addressing over-exercise and eating disorders in campus recreation are routinely posed through professional association listservs and at conferences. Though few, campus recreation literature specific to the subject including the role campus recreation professionals can play and suggested strategies has been published in the Recreational Spots Journal (RSJ) in 1989 and 1998.

In December 2009 an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) research clearinghouse approved study was administered to NIRSA members about over-exercise, anorexia, and bulimia. The NIRSA National Center (NNC) identified a sample population that included one professional from each of the NIRSA member institutions with a professional fitness and/or wellness employment position. During a two-week span 128 of 258 people responded for a 50% response rate. In 2011, the results and implications were published by RSJ in an article titled Assessing Over-Exercise, Anorexia, and Bulimia in Campus Recreation.
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Over Exercise: How Should the Recreation Facility Respond?

July 04, 2011

Karen S. Miller
Registered Dietitian/Nutrition Educator
Edited by Christopher Dulak, Dr. Janet Crawford, Katie James
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Imagine you are walking by a sauna and you see a woman doing steps on the benches; or you see a male participant who has moved an exercise bike into a sauna to exercise. Imagine you are seeing a middle aged women exercising on a treadmill, her body emaciated to the point of having no muscle tone. Or you see a “normal” weight participant who has been working out in the building for three hours. What is your response, what action is appropriate?

You may ask: “So what?” What “should” we do? What is appropriate? We know it’s an issue, but what action do we take?”

Occasionally there will be a story of over-exercise to bring the subject to the headlines. People Magazine reported on Peach Friedman in “Exercise Almost Killed Her” (Souter, et al, 2006). In a side bar segment they also mentioned actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler and her bout with “exercise bulimia.” Today’s Dietitian reported: “Exercise Abuse: Too Much of A Good Thing” (Jackson, 2005). And Fitness Magazine carried: “I Am an Exercise Addict” (Schein & Copeland, 1994).

In a society that idealizes and promotes the perfect body; with role models like The Biggest Loser (at least 4-5 hours of exercise daily) and with the pursuit of rock hard abs and tight butts, how much exercise is too much? When is it time for the fitness profession to step in and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!?
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SOP — Suspicion of Unhealthy Eating or Exercise Behaviors

May 12, 2011

Sarah DiSabato
Associate Director, Facilities
Recreation and Wellness
University of Central Florida

Today, University Recreation Facilities are attracting a diverse and large number of participants. A significant number of staff who operate our facilities and run our programs are student employees. As they strive to provide the best recreation facilities and programs, an important goal is to deliver great customer service – and doing this means you need to know your participants and what their needs are. A sensitive topic which continues to be a challenge is the issue of student users who appear to be exercising excessively and/or those who exhibit behaviors of unhealthy eating habits (restricting food or binge eating and utilizing exercise to purge). How do our student employees and professional staff handling this? A framework that the University of Central Florida devised provides the staff with some guidelines as we work our way through responding to those with unhealthy eating or exercise behaviors:

– When a building employee has identified the behavior of a user to be characteristic of someone with an eating disorder or overly obsessive exercise habits, the employee should immediately notify the Fitness Coordinator.
– During this time, the employee should also begin to initiate causal conversations with the user in hopes of forming a relationship; the users name should be one of the first pieces of information gathered.
– The same employee should remain in contact with the user – not different or multiple employees.
– The Fitness Coordinator will start a file on the user documenting all interactions with building employees and facility usage.
– All interactions with the user should be reported to the Fitness Coordinator immediately and it will be the job of the Fitness Coordinator to keep the file updated.
– The intent is to have the employee try to form a genuine relationship with the user in hopes the user will open up to the employee.
– If a good relationship is established, the employee and the Fitness Coordinator will speak to the user about possible avenues for getting help, such as the Counseling Center. The Fitness Specialist may assist the user in scheduling an appointment and may even accompany to the appointment if need be.
– Follow up with the user will be conducted by the employee and the Fitness Coordinator.

Using a team approach, the department uses many resources to try and be of help in situations such as these. Relationship building is our primary emphasis in establishing the communication needed for intervention and referral.

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