Free Webinar: Running on Empty

Understanding the Complex Relationship of Exercise and Eating Disorders

The 2016 summer Olympics has just ended and we again just witnessed the power of the human body as well as the human spirit. The optimal balance of effective training and nutrition and an internal competitive drive can lead to winning performance on one hand, but if disordered eating or eating disorder behaviors emerge, this healthy balance can be threatened.Up until this time, unless a clinician was assessing an athlete, the information gathered during the interview process was subjective and limited.

The DSM-5 definition of exercise as a form of compensatory purging is also general in nature. To this point: as the eating disorder disease becomes more complex and diverse among ages and populations, it has to be matched by more in-depth updated assessment tools and interview techniques. This presentation will address the growing complexity of exercise and physical activity assessment and issues within the assessment of eating disorders both for the general population and athletes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define what exercise is and the current terminology defining “excessive exercise”
  • Become familiar with the tools for exercise assessment and the objective monitors on the market
  • Discuss interview questions to obtain more objective data to accurate diagnosis and caloric/nutrient demands
  • Discuss when technology driven data should be kept in the hands of the professional
  • Understand when the benefits of exercise become liabilities with an ED


Dr. Brian Cook

Dr. Brian Cook

Dr. Brian Cook has developed and maintained an original line of research focused on examining the etiological role, management, and therapeutic potential of exercise in eating disorders. His education at the University of Rhode Island, University of Florida, and a National Institute of Mental Health funded post-doctoral fellowship at the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute in Fargo, ND has allowed him to train under leading experts in the eating disorder field. This has resulted in consistently presenting research and invited talks at international level conferences (e.g., Eating Disorders Research Society, the Academy for Eating Disorders, etc.), chairing conference paper sessions focused on eating disorders and associated psychiatric illnesses at international level conferences (e.g., International Conference on Behavioral Addictions), several publications in leading journals (e.g., International Journal of Eating Disorders, etc.) and invited book chapters, and his forthcoming invited keynote address at the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation’s Symposium 2017. These accomplishments are commendable at this stage of Dr Cook’s career and provide strong evidence of his passion for improving the lives of individuals with eating disorder and his potential to continue to impact the fields of eating disorders research and treatment.