Eating Disorders and COVID-19: Coincidences or Connections?

Sunday, October 9
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM (Eastern Time)
CE: 1.0
Level 2 (intermediate knowledge/experience)
Activity Code: 170653


A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, dietitians around the world reported a huge influx of patients seeking care for dysfunctional eating behaviors. Simultaneously, food banks experienced record demand, historic and systemic inequities in healthcare were acknowledged, and social media blossomed from an entertaining diversion into an essential artery of interpersonal connection. Coincidence?

Join dietetics educator Mary Beth Kavanagh and Academy author & eating disorders expert Jessica Setnick as they delve into the relationships between recent current events & eating disorders, & the impacts these connections have had on the dietetics profession. Topics will include social media and its negative effects on body image; how COVID-19 creates specific eating problems; challenges for dietitians providing telemedicine for eating disorders; links between food insecurity and eating disorders; and dysfunctional eating behaviors among dietetics students. The session will close with recommendations for educational pathways to best prepare future dietitians to manage the ongoing and ever-increasing volume of individuals struggling with their eating.

Planned with the Behavioral Health Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the multiple pathways linking the COVID-19 pandemic with the increase in eating disorders
  • Describe recent findings related to the influence of social media on body image and related issues
  • Advocate for increased education on dysfunctional eating behaviors in dietetics education programs and for insurance coverage for medical nutrition therapy provided by RDNs

Performance Indicators:

  • 1.3.3 Uses ethical reasoning and decision-making processes to address ethical dilemmas
  • 3.2.8 Challenges, encourages and supports others to take action to advance the profession
  • 9.4.1 Takes into consideration special needs and disabilities and provides accommodations