191. Exercise in Eating Disorder Treatment: Misconceptions, Evidence and Future Directions

Sunday, October 27
8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Location: Grand Ballroom A
CE: 1.5
Level 2 – Intermediate
Activity Code: 149373

Nutrition and exercise are inextricably related. However, this relationship becomes complicated in the presence of an eating disorder. Research and clinical practice have provided insights into how exercise, nutrition, and eating disorders interact to create both beneficial and detrimental outcomes, but effective clinical practices are still unknown. This session presents a new conceptual model to reconcile the good, bad and unknown relationships among nutrition, eating disorders and exercise. Data on physical and emotional changes from implementing this new treatment model in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient eating disorder treatment centers across the U.S. will be discussed. Attendees will recognize potential intervention areas when exercise and nutrition interact with an eating disorder. A framework to change the functional relationship of exercise and eating disorders from compensatory to therapeutic will be demonstrated using an interactive case study.

Learning Objectives:

  • Dispel the misconceptions around exercise and eating disorders through reframing movement-related language and reviewing approaches that limit the therapeutic benefit of movement.
  • Differentiate movement and exercise patterns as either an eating disorder symptom or a therapeutic benefit within a new conceptual model of treatment.
  • Identify two ways to change the functional relationship of exercise from compulsive, driven and/or obligatory to a therapeutic mind/body connection that supports sustainable recovery from an eating disorder.

Learning Need Codes:

  • 5200 Disordered eating (disease/disorder)
  • 9020 Evaluation and application of research
  • 4060 Exercise, fitness, and sports nutrition

Performance Indicator:

  • 4.1.2 Interprets and integrates evidence-based research and literature in decision making.
  • 8.2.4 Imparts knowledge of the importance of physical activity and applies behavior change principles to promote physical activity and decrease inactivity.
  • 8.3.6 Keeps abreast of current nutrition and dietetics knowledge and trends.


  • Beth Harrell, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD

    Director of Certification

    International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)

  • Speaker(s)

  • Tammy Beasley, RDN, CSSD, CEDRD, LD

    Vice President of Clinical Nutrition Services

    Alsana: An Eating Recovery Community

  • Brian Cook, PhD

    V.P. Movement, Research & Outcomes

    Alsana: An Eating Recovery Community