Category: Eating Disorders

Symposium

Symposium 91 - Exercise in Individuals With Disordered Eating: How and for Whom Might It Be Beneficial?

Saturday, November 18
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Location: Cobalt 502, Level 5, Cobalt Level

Keywords: Eating Disorders | Exercise | Ecological Momentary Assessment
Presentation Type: Symposium

The role of exercise in eating disorders (ED) and their treatment is complicated and controversial. Though some physical activity interventions, such as yoga, have been found effective for improving disordered eating (Cook et al., 2016; Neumark-Sztainer, 2014), exercise can often become problematic (Cook et al., 2013; Holland et al., 2014; Lichtenstein et al., 2014; Shroff et al., 2006). Prior research suggests that individuals with ED exercise in order to decrease various negative affect states, such as stress and anxiety (e.g., Holtkamp et al., 2004; Holtkamp et al., 2014), and decreasing negative affect may be a mechanism through which exercise could alleviate ED symptoms (Hausenblas et al., 2008). However, the extent to which exercise helps to decrease negative affective states in individuals with ED is unclear. In this symposium, we present new research on how and for whom exercise may be beneficial for disordered eating and related risk factors and symptoms. We present research that uses ecological momentary assessment (EMA), a methodology that allows researchers to capture real time experiences in everyday life (Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2004) and increases reliability and generalizability and leads to more accurate and rapid assessments than traditional self-reported assessment methodologies (Schneider & Stone, 2015; Shiffman, Stone, & Hufford, 2008).  Each presenter will discuss implications for treatments, as well as directions for future research.


First, Lauren Breithaupt will present neuroimaging and EMA data examining associations between stress and excessive exercise in women with bulimia nervosa. Findings suggest that excessive exercise may function differently than other compensatory behaviors, as it relates to the attenuation of stress in women with bulimia nervosa. The next two speakers will present findings from a study that used EMA to examine associations between exercise behavior and ED symptoms and risk factors. Margarita Sala will present analyses examining the bidirectional relationship between exercise and stress and anxiety. Results suggest that exercise may have different relationships with anxiety and stress depending on severity of eating pathology. Leigh Brosof will then present results demonstrating that individuals high in both general social fears and body dissatisfaction were less likely to exercise because of fears of how others may evaluate their bodies.Together, these findings may help clinicians determine which patients might benefit from therapeutic exercise and which may be in need of an intervention targeting body dissatisfaction in order to increase exercise behavior. The fourth presenter, Dr. Lindsey Hopkins, will present data from a randomized controlled trial examining the effects of an 8-week yoga intervention on ED symptoms. In addition, she will present analyses examining three potential mediating pathways, each reflecting a different component of affect regulation. Finally, Dr. Cheri Levinson will provide an integrated discussion on all four presentations, including how this research can be extended and incorporated in the treatment of eating disorders.

Learning Objectives:

Margarita Sala

Graduate Student
Southern Methodist University

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Margarita Sala

Leigh C. Brosof

Student
University of Louisville

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Leigh Brosof

Send Email for Cheri Levinson

Lauren Breithaupt

George Mason University

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Lauren Breithaupt

Margarita Sala

Graduate Student
Southern Methodist University

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Margarita Sala

Leigh C. Brosof

Student
University of Louisville

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Leigh Brosof

Lindsey B. Hopkins

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
National Center for PTSD; Center for Innovation to Implementation; VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Lindsey Hopkins


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