Sport and Exercise

Sport and Exercise Special Interest Group

The Sport and Exercise Special Interest Group is a multidisciplinary association of academic and health care professionals with demonstrated interest and expertise in the field of eating disorders. SIG members believe that athletes constitute a unique population best served through specialized approaches to identification, treatment, and prevention of eating disorders. For our purposes, the term "athlete" is defined broadly to include persons for whom exercise, athletic activity, or performance through movement play a significant life role, as well as those individuals who participate in organized sport at all levels of competition.

We intend to pursue our mission through the objectives below.

  1. Promotion of effective treatment and care of athletes with eating disorders.
  2. Exchange of information among SIG members and other professionals involved in the treatment and care of athletes with eating disorders.
  3. Arrangement of forums (i.e., programs, workshops, conferences, etc.) to facilitate information exchange as described in objective 2.
  4. Development and dissemination of educational materials regarding the identification, treatment, and prevention of eating disorders among athletes; these materials are relevant for health care professionals, sport personnel, athletes, parents, and the general public.
  5. Encouragement of, and support for, quality research in the area of athletes and eating disorders.

Past Activities and History

The Sport and Exercise SIG was formed in 2001, and the first SIG meeting occurred on 5/19/01 at the AED conference in Vancouver, and has met each year at the AED annual conference. Current membership is 31 with members from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. Ron A. Thompson and Roberta Sherman started the SIG and both served as Co-chairs until 2008, at which time Jennifer Harriger replaced Roberta Sherman as Co-chair. Each meeting has been highlighted by special guest speakers such as reknowned sport nutritionist Nancy Clark, R.D., and noted researcher Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen, PhD.

With AED, the SIG has co-sponsored “Athlete and Eating Disorder” one-day mini-conferences in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Each conference has been held in Indianapolis and drawn more than 100 attendees. Despite being one-day conferences, each has had an international flavor with participants/speakers traveling from Mexico, Canada, The Netherlands, and Norway, in addition to the US. There is a tentative plan for a 4th such conference in 2009. Keynote speakers at the conferences have included Barbara Drinkwater, PhD, (seminal research related to the Female Athlete Triad), Mary Wilfert (Associate Director of Education Outreach at the NCAA), and 2004 US Olympic diver Kimiko Soldati.

Another SIG (two-year) project included the compilation of almost 1000 abstracts related to publications on Athletes and Eating Disorders The project was conducted by Donald McAlpine, who was assisted by Annick Bucholz, Robyn Swenson, and Mary Yannakaelia. That list of abstracts is available to AED members through a link on the SIG website. Other SIG activities have included three SIG Discussion Panels at AED annual meeting. Another is being planned for the 2009 meeting in Cancun.


The Female Athlete Triad


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