Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating & Body Image

Photo of two people talking on a couch. One appears to be counselling the other.

The Research Exchange Group on Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating & Body Image is a forum where people meet to discuss related research, policy and programming. The Research Group chose its name to reflect the range and inter-connectedness of issues under study. The group connects researchers, community partners, clinicians, health system decision makers, people who relate to this topic and their family members, caregivers, all those with an interest in this important applied health research topic.

See Group Activities and Presentations

See Group Members in the News

Group Convener
  • Dr. Pamela Ward—Nursing Educator, Centre for Nursing Studies; Adjunct Professor, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University.

Goals & Objectives

The primary function of the group is to promote research and knowledge transfer in the area of eating disorders, disordered eating and body image. Activities of the group include:

  • Holding regular meetings during the academic year
  • Maintaining a list of research projects both envisioned and underway in this area
  • Tracking the status of research projects in progress
  • Utilizing the expertise of each group member in obtaining funding, developing and implementing research projects and publicizing the results
  • Developing a supportive structure in which graduate students can discuss their own research projects and get involved with other projects being conducted by fellow group members

Join Us

NLCAHR’s Research Exchange Group on Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating, and Body Image welcomes anyone with an interest in eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image to join us. Please see our calendar of meetings for information about upcoming webinars or email rochelle.baker@med.mun.ca for more details.


Group Activities & Presentations

2020

November 26, 2020 | The Impact of COVID-19 on Those Affected by Eating Disorders | Isabelle Gauthier, Melanie Bishop, Emily Pye, and Megan Matthews | A group of third year students in the Bachelor of Nursing (Collaborative Program) at the Centre for Nursing Studies, Memorial University presented an overview of a project they have completed with the Eating Disorder Foundation of NL (EDFNL) as partial fulfillment of a community assessment course (N3500). The four students conducted a review of the literature regarding the challenges experienced by those affected with an eating disorder during the current COVID-19 pandemic and shared key findings for this presentation. | Link to Presentation |

October 29, 2020 | Moving Data: Exploring Women Runners' Embodied Experiences and Understanding of Body Ideals, Health, and Self-Care Practices | Holly Foley, Doctoral Candidate, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine | The purpose of this research is to explore the ways that a regular running practice may facilitate agency for resisting or negotiating dominant cultural norms of the female body. The researcher has utilized a moving methodology to “engage the force of the moving active body” (Markula, 2014, p. 283) to explore how women runners experience their bodies through movement and how this may shape women’s experiences and meaning making of their body, health, and self-care practices. This presentation provided an overview of her doctoral research to date, with a focus on moving methodology and embodied reflexivity. |

February 20, 2020 | An Experimental Examination of Binge Eating Disorder Stigma | Kayla Hollett | Binge eating disorder (BED) is a mental health disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating an abnormally large amount of food in a short period of time while experiencing a sense of loss of control. Previous findings suggest that individuals who engage in binge eating are perceived as lacking self-discipline and at-fault for their eating behaviour. However, these studies have failed to distinguish binge eating stigma from weight stigma, often characterizing individuals with BED as ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’. Given that body size is a highly stigmatized trait, the use of weight-based descriptors to characterize individuals with BED represents a confound when attempting to examine the stigma associated with binge eating behaviour. To address this gap in the literature, the current study was designed to examine BED stigma while controlling for weight stigma. Furthermore, given the intersectional nature of stigma, the current study sought to examine the intersection of stigmas associated with binge eating and having a larger body. The results of this research will be presented along with implications for individuals facing stigma surrounding binge eating behaviour. Kayla Hollett completed her undergraduate degree at Memorial and is now completing her master’s thesis research as a member of the MUN Eating Behaviours Lab under the supervision of Dr. Jacqueline Carter-Major. Her current research interests surround eating disorders and stigma, behavioural addictions, and emotion regulation. The project presented today has been funded by a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship (Master’s). | Link to Presentation | 

2019

October 24 2019 | Rethinking Fat Bodies in Counselling Education | Bahar Haghighat, Ph.D. Candidate, Education | This presentation discussed how counselling education must address weight bias, and how body inclusivity is important. The presenter drew on her experiences teaching a course on diversity in counselling that focused on training culturally-competent counsellors in which she incorporated readings on weight-stigma and fat-phobia. Based on the feedback she received and the conversations she had, she will conclude how a “body-becoming” pedagogy can open possibilities for teacher education and counselling education. | Link to Presention | Reference List | 

April 18, 2019 | Deviant Bodies: A Content Comparison of Pro-ana and Weight-Loss Blogs | Amy Sheppard, PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Sociology at Memorial University of Newfound and Labrador | Although anorexia is framed as a mental health disorder and weight-loss is framed as a health initiative, Amy Sheppard argues that both involve the same body project – one that encourages thinness as a marker of health and good bio-citizenry. Using content analysis to compare online blogs written by individuals engaged in weight loss and individuals who identify as pro anorexia (pro-ana), this study argues that both groups are engaging in similar behaviours in their attempts to manage their bodies. Weight loss bloggers and pro-ana bloggers demonstrate comparable conduct in the online diaries that detail their experiences of weight loss. Thus, weight loss and anorexia exist on the same spectrum of responsible bio-citizenry, with thinness as an ideal. Amy Sheppard is a practicing Social Worker at a non-profit working with women in the criminal justice system. Her research and clinical interests focus on gender, criminalized women, trauma-informed practice as well as critical obesity/fat studies. Amy is an avid (amateur) dancer who dabbles in backyard homesteading. |

February 7, 2019 | Examining the Relationship Between Insomnia Symptoms and DBT Treatment Outcome in Binge Eating Disorder | Megan Van Wijk, Memorial University | Link to Presentation | 

2018

February 6, 2018 | Increasing Supportive Caregiver Involvement and Decreasing Obstructive Behaviours: Lessons Learned from Emotion-Focused Family Therapy | Adele Lafrance, PhD, C.Psych., Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Laurentian University |

Resources from the Presentation:

2017

November 29, 2017 |  Shifting Paradigms: Adopting a Health not Weight Approach | Dr. Pamela Ward | Link to Presentation |

March 23, 2017 | A Critical Examination of Masculine Embodiment in Middle School Males Chris BorduasLink to Presentation |

January 26, 2017 | Making Up Our Own Moves: Using Dance to Explore Experiences of the Body with Women Incarcerated at Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women (NLCCW) | Amy Sheppard | Link to Presentation |

2016

November 10, 2016 | Competing Bodies: Promoting Body Positive Approaches in Sport and Recreation | Holly Foley and Erin Cameron | Link to Presentation |

June 23, 2016 | Across the Lifespan: Examining Critical Approaches to Weight, Body Image, and Health in Diverse Populations | Erin Cameron and Pamela Ward | 

February 25, 2016 | Emotion Focused Family Therapy and the Results of the National Research Study Into the Use of EFFT as a Workshop for Carers | Patricia Nash, Counsellor and Program Facilitator of Eating Disorder Foundation of NL | Link to Presentation |

February 25, 2016 | Overview of Eating Disorder NL's Programs and Services | Cathy Skinner, Education Facilitator at EDFNL | Link to Presentation | 

2015

November 24, 2015 | Access to Mental Health Services for Youth with Eating Disorders | Michael Bartellas | Link to Presentation | 

2012

October 9, 2012 | Don't Panic: Measured Responses to the Obesity Epidemic in NL | Dr. Jacqui Gingras, Ryerson University, School of Nutrition | Link to Presentation | 


Members in the News

Demand for Services | Dr. Olga Heath, a previous co-convener of the REG on EDDEBI, was featured in this article on CBC News. |

Dr. Wallace Ingram Award | The award was presented to Dr. Beausoleil, an Associate Professor of Social Science and Health in the Division of Community Health and Humanities, to fund a project to promote artistic activities and explore the possibility of integrating an arts program in the Faculty of Medicine. |  Link to Story |

Contact

Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000