What Coaches Can Do to Prevent Eating Disorders: Q&A with Dr. Quatromoni

This is part of a Q&A series with leading expert in eating disorders and sports, Paula Quatromoni. For more Q&As click here.

Q: What can coaches do to build a healthy culture and prevent eating disorders?

A: First, I’d recommend education. There is a lot that coaches can do to educate themselves and increase awareness on the topic of eating disorders in sport. They can turn to Walden GOALS materialsRunning in Silence and Running in Silence blog posts, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, and credible websites like NEDA, etc. They can also attend lectures, events, and coaching conferences to engage in continuing education on the topic. Armed with this information, coaches can address concerns that they see on their teams in a one-on-one conversation and a referral to the AT like we were talking about in that last Q&A.

Read more

For Coaches, Approaching an Athlete with an Eating Disorder: Q&A with Dr. Paula Quatromoni

This is part of a Q&A series with leading expert in eating disorders and sports, Paula Quatromoni. For more Q&As click here.

Q: How do you recommend approaching an athlete you think might have an eating disorder?

A (Paula Quatromoni): Set up a private meeting with the athlete to discuss your concerns. Never, ever, ever do this in public and do not do it without some purposeful thought and advance preparation. In other words, do not have this conversation off the cuff or in the heat of a moment when you are having any kind of emotionally charged interaction with the athlete, like after a bad sport performance or when they suffer an injury.

It is important that you know the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and that you have objective data and personal observations that align with those warning signs. Do not act on hearsay or second-hand information that could be false or inaccurate. Make notes about your observations and your concerns so that you can stay focused on the facts when you have this conversation.

Read more

What Can Coaches Do if An Athlete is Resistant to Eating Disorder Treatment? Q&A with Dr. Paula Quatromoni

Ever since meeting Paula Quatromoni at the Eating Disorders in Sport Conference last August, we have been in constant communication. Paula has been especially helpful for me since I am not a professional in treating eating disorders. So as one of the leading experts in this field, it is a privilege and an honor to have Paula answer questions to help coaches better work with athletes who may have eating/weight struggles. For more Q&As with Paula, which will be coming in the future, click here.

Q: What can coaches/parents/sports programs do if an athlete is resistant to going to an eating disorder therapist or dietitian, but very clearly struggling with an eating disorder?

Read more