Eating Disorders and Athletes

How to Recognize, Intervene and Prevent

Learn how to recognize, intervene and prevent eating disorders with athletes. A must have for any health care professional, athlete parent or coach.

Allison Mankowski, MPH, RD
Sports Dietitian

What People Are Saying:

  • avatar

    Mariah Rogers

    Dietetics Masters Student and Lifelong Athlete

    This book is a must-have for understanding eating disorders in athletes. It gives a wealth of information while being readable and easy to understand.  As a former athlete and current nutrition graduate student, I wish my former coaches had access to this book!  It is a great choice for anyone who will be spending time athletes of any age!

  • avatar

    Cynthia Lewis, MA, LLPC

    Limited Licensed Professional Counselor

    As a mother of three successful female athletes and a counselor who has worked with individuals struggling with eating disorders, I feel the information presented in this e-book was concise, to the point and very informative.  It helped me to understand the unique issues surrounding eating disorders in athletes and certainly reinforced the importance of all the professionals (i.e., dietitian, therapist, coach) working together to help the individual who is struggling with developing healthy eating patterns and body image.  Every coach should have this resource in his or her library!

  • Michelle Sabourin

    Head Competitive Cheerleading Coach, Alma College
    National STUNT Coach of the Year 2014
                        Former Varsity Cheerleader, Grand Valley State University

    "Eating Disorders in Athletes" is a must read for coaches at every level.  I've been involved in cheerleading for the past 15 years as both an athlete and a coach, and I have seen the effects of eating disorders firsthand.  Now as a coach at the college level, I feel that it is vital part of my job to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms that can develop in this type of high stress atmosphere.  "Eating Disorders in Athletes" gives facts as well as examines the issue from a global perspective in terms of the potential effects on teams, friends, and family as well as suggestions for approach and remedy.  It's a great resource for any coach who is dealing with these issues or ones looking to be informed.

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               4 Important Tips You’ll Learn

1.  How to recognize an eating disorder in your athlete.  Clinical eating disorders are just one part of a disordered eating spectrum, and many individuals on this spectrum work hard to keep their behaviors hidden.  By learning about this spectrum, factors that increase the risk, and signs and symptoms that often develop, you will be better prepared to recognize the disorder in the early stages.  Early detection usually means less long term physical and psychological damage for your athlete.

 

2.  How to intervene when you suspect your athlete has an eating disorder.  Having a conversation about a potential eating disorder can be uncomfortable and challenging.  You will learn how to approach this discussion in a sensitive but effective way.

 

3.  The process of treatment and recovery from eating disorders.  Treatment and recovery from an eating disorder is not an easy, straightforward process.  You will learn about how an eating disorder is treated and also gain a better understanding of what the athlete may struggle with during their recovery.

 

4.  How to prevent eating disorders in athletes.  Just as there are many risk factors that can lead to development of an eating disorder, there are also many factors that can help prevent eating disorders before they begin.  You will learn how you can be a protective factor and promote a healthy, positive environment for your athletes.

About The Author
Allison Mankowski, MPH, RD
Sports Dietitian

 
 

Allison is a life-long athlete and sports enthusiast.  She was an all-state track and field athlete and competitive cheerleader prior to attending the University of Michigan, where she was a four-year member and senior captain of the cheerleading team.   Her experience in and love of athletics led her to pursue her bachelors degree in Movement Science from the School of Kinesiology and then to continue on to get her master’s degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, with the goal of helping other athletes through sports nutrition.  She has continued her involvement in athletics by training and competing as a CrossFit athlete and has also run two half marathons, numerous 5K and 10K’s, a triathlon and multiple adventure races.

Allison brings important experience to the topic of eating disorders in athletes, not just as a former athlete and current professional in the field of sports nutrition, but also as a successful cheerleading coach at the high school level for the past 10 years.  This gives her the personal perspective of being on the front line, coaching and working with young athletes every day.  She has spoken at numerous coaching conferences on the unique aspects of Eating Disorders in Athletes, helping coaches, administrators and trainers to understand their role in promoting healthy athletes and helping those athletes who may be struggling with this issue.

Allison currently works as the sports dietitian and head of the Eating Disorder Management Team for Eastern Michigan University Athletics and as the consultant dietitian for the Detroit Lions.  In addition to this, she works for Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools through the University of Michigan Health system, counseling middle school and high school students on healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.  She also meets regularly with many local high school and youth sports teams to share her expertise in sports nutrition.  When she is not working or training, Allison enjoys being with her husband and son, hiking, attending sporting events and spending time on the lake sailing or wakeboarding.

 

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