Eating Disorder Treatment for Athletes

An athlete struggling with an eating disorder is complex and can become life-threatening if left untreated. Identifying the type of eating disorder is essential to get the right help. How do you know if you are an athlete who has a formal eating disorder and use your sport or exercise regimen as a compensatory behavior that it has become an addiction? This is one of the most challenging diagnoses and it is often misdiagnosed because it requires a team of healthcare professionals.

Walker Wellness Clinic at Cooper Aerobic Center is the only eating disorder treatment center that includes (on staff) exercise physiologists, sport coaches and sport dietitians: Clinicians who have been elite athletes themselves, and who understand eating disorders, body physiology, the complexity of the demands of training, and the role of nutrition. Combined with individual and group psychotherapy, physiological and psychological assessments and Cooper Aerobic Center’s world class training facilities, Walker Wellness is well equipped to treat the complexities of most athletes who struggle with eating disorders.

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  • Emphasis on individual psychotherapy and nutrition therapy
  • Clinically designed treatment plan that is unique an athlete’s unique needs
  • Highly qualified staff including:
    • Clinical psychologists/Licensed Professional Counselors (no interns or trainees)
    • Dietitians and Sports Nutritionists
    • Exercise Physiologists and Sport Coaches
  • Personalized meal plans & meal therapy with personal dietitian
  • Physiological education (the athletic body)
  • Sport coaching: Effective training scheduling & skills planning
  • Individual or group body image therapy
  • A comprehensive family program
  • Clinically designed psychological and/or career test battery & ADHD testing
  • Cooking classes for you and/or your family and loved ones
  • Weekend and/or Weekday Programs
  • Energy expenditure, nutritional intake, body composition
  • Comprehensive physical/medical exams
  • Cardiac assessments
  • Gastroenterology
  • Bone density assessment
  • Medication management
  • Dermatology services
  • Blood Work

Psychologists and mental health professionals offer individual, group, and family psychotherapy and address personality styles through psychological testing. A comprehensive medical exam and cardiac assessments can be conducted at the Cooper Clinic. Clinical and sport dietitians offer nutrition counseling and nutritional assessments to ultimately guide the patient to eat healthy and assist in constructing the appropriate nutrition plans to fuel their sport. Assessment of the athlete’s resting metabolic rate, body composition (DEXA) and Vo2 max are also implemented into the program at a suitable time during treatment.

When the athlete is ready to be reintegrated into training (a crucial time in the treatment process), the clinical staff will design and supervise training/nutrition schedules carefully assist the athlete to return safely to his or her high level of fitness and skills required for his or her individualized sport.