The AED recently granted Task Force status to an international, multidisciplinary and multiorganizational work group targeting the needs of fitness facilities in the public, private and academic sectors with regard to identified or suspected members suffering with eating disorders and/or excessive exercise. Excessive exercise is a characteristic feature of eating disorder symptomatology putting patients at added medical risk. Despite this potentially lethal situation, most fitness personnel have received little if any education and training on how to identify members at risk and how to ethically and effectively intervene with impaired members. Legal concerns, including a member becoming injured or dying while exercising, or resisting requests for medical clearance further complicate the issues facing fitness facilities.
Given that this is a universal issue, an international task force was developed under the auspices of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) to review guidelines currently implemented in Australia (Fitness Australia Guidelines: Identifying and Managing Members with Eating Disorders and/or Problems with Excessive Exercise), and expand or refine them as necessary to accommodate the specific needs of other countries. The revised policies will address the unique requirements of the full range of fitness centers (public, private and campus based), identify the means by which to disseminate information to fitness related organizations and ultimately to assist in the implementation and assessment of the guidelines with interested fitness facilities across the globe.
Task Force Members:
- Chair: Beth McGilley (USA, Clinical Psychologist, Fellow, Academy for Eating Disorders, and President, Healing Path Foundation)
- Rachel Calogero (UK, Social Psychologist)
- Jeremy Freeman* (AU, Clinical Psychologist and Eating Disorder Coordinator with the Centre for Eating & Dieting Disorders)
- Sondra Kronberg (USA, Nutrition Therapist and on the Board of Directors of NEDA)
- Peta Marks* (AU, Mental Health Nurse)
- Ciarán Newell (UK, Consultant Nurse - Eating Disorders)
- Elaine Painter* (AU, Mental Health Nurse and State Wide Team Manager of Eating Disorders Outreach Service)
- Kelly Pedrotty, MA (USA, Certified Yoga Instructor)
- Ellen Rome (USA, Pediatrician and Chair of the AED Media Committee)
- Christine Selby (USA, Psychologist, Sport Psychologist, member of AASP)
- Ed Tyson (USA, Physician)
- Danni Watts (AU, Project Officer, The Butterfly Foundation)
*Instrumental in developing the Fitness Australia Guidelines