Eating Disorders Awareness

The National Eating Disorders Association [NEDA] has launched a new educational toolkit aimed at coaches and trainers. Created specifically to educate and raise awareness with gyms, athletic programs and athletic departments across the nation, this will expand NEDA's library of toolkits and will support NEDA's "It's Time to Talk About It" campaign.

Created as a resource for athletic directors and their staff, this toolkit will inform them about the facts behind eating disorders, as well as help them identify those affected specifically within a gym or athletic setting. It is also written as a guide to possible treatments. NEDA has already brought in key partners for its Toolkit program, and plans to expand it through appropriate channels nationwide.

As Lynn Grefe, CEO of NEDA has said, "We are pleased to bring this information to the world of sports and coaching. Eating disorders have certainly found their way into athleticism and sports competition, so it is important that people in authority know how to recognize the symptoms, understand the illness and what to do next to help the athlete. For too long, eating disorders have been ignored or set aside in the name of victory, and we believe that the health of the individual should come first. We trust others would agree."

"The Coach and Trainer Toolkit, developed by the National Eating Disorders Association, has the answers that many coaches and trainers need to best help their athletes. Strongly recommended as a resource for all coaches, trainers, and physical education teachers," says Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD.

The Toolkit includes frequently asked questions and common myths about eating disorders, strategies for assisting both men and women, information on the female athlete triad, how to handle eating disorders in a team or school setting and also has stories and recommendations from athletes themselves. NEDA's toolkit program was originally developed in response to requests by educators for a simple, easy-to-use format to find answers to questions and concerns and has since been expanded to respond to the needs of parents and now gyms and athletic departments.

The toolkit can be downloaded here:

We welcome your feedback on this article. Please e-mail us at: