This year, for the first time, NEDIC will present a poster session to provide even more opportunity for networking. The below posters will be presented.
Restoring mood among individuals who engage in eating disorder behaviours: The potential role of nature
Alexis Arbuthnott, University of Guelph
This study examined the role of a nature video in restoring negative emotional states to baseline following a negative mood induction task. The relations between eating disorder behaviour and negative emotional states at the three time points (i.e., baseline, after the negative mood induction task, after the nature video) were assessed. Findings indicated that the nature task was successful in restoring emotional states—particularly for individuals who have engaged in eating disorder behaviours as compared to those without a current or lifetime history of eating disorder behaviours. These results offer preliminary evidence to suggest that there is a role for nature-related stimuli in regulating mood among individuals who engage in eating disorder behaviours.
(Baby) Fat is a Feminist Issue
Alice Cavanagh, McMaster University
Obesity occupies a unique space in our national moral imaginary: through the media, public policy, and broader processes of medicalization, larger, softer bodies have been discursively constructed as morally deficient, irresponsible, and intrinsically unhealthy. For those gendered as female, fatness comes with particular challenges and gendered meanings. As with medicalization writ large, the medicalization of fatness has entrenched patriarchal power structures and disproportionately disenfranchised women. Attitudes that demonize fatness and blame fat women for their bodies are prevalent amongst biomedical practitioners, and particularly concerning where they influence the health seeking behaviours of patients deemed “overweight”. During pregnancy, the body’s reproductive function affects its shape and women are subject to new embodied discourses. As women “begin to show” or disclose their pregnancies, their private bodies are reconceived as public property. Weight is constructed as a primary cultural marker of a woman’s fitness as a mother-to-be, connected in the public mind with other taboos including alcohol and tobacco use. It’s my contention that biomedical approaches to weight in pregnancy perpetuate the fat shame that pervades Western culture more generally, serving to socially exclude fat pregnant women to the greater detriment of maternal health. To this end, I render a feminist critique of the “Obesity in Pregnancy” Clinical Practice Guideline produced by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. I employ fat liberation theory to inform my analysis, and use intersectional feminism and the social determinants of health to show how this biomedical approach to fatness disenfranchises women, and entrenches social inequity.
Use Your Voice And Your Body: "Yoga Tools" for an Empowered Recovery
Jennifer Kreatsoulas, PhD, Chime Yoga Therapy LLC
“Use your voice, not your body” is a rallying cry often heard in the eating disorder community that is intended to motivate individuals to express, assert, and speak instead of starve, stuff, and purge. How can we as a community reframe the natural struggles of the recovery process (slips, backslides, relapses) so that individuals recognize that their hard work is valued as a source of expression and agency rather than a failure to vocalize or lack of will power?
One key way is to value both the body and voice (not one over the other), and study and embrace the constant dialogue between the two. In my personal recovery and professional experience, yoga and mindfulness practices facilitate this deep dive into self-exploration and self-empowerment.
As a yoga therapist, I teach others yoga and mindfulness to establish new behaviors, patterns, and language that contributes positively to their healing processes. Based on peer-reviewed literature, 1 year of client case studies in the outpatient (1x1) and treatment (group) settings, and client and practitioner testimonials, my poster shares how a creative set of what I call “yoga tools” facilitates practical, personalized, and embodied coping skills in eating disorder recovery.
The Relationship Between Weight Bias Internalization, Body Shape Concerns and Disordered Eating in Young Women
Adrienne Mehak, Ryerson University
Measures of two constructs that have been found to relate to disordered eating, weight bias internalization (WBI) and body shape concerns, were examined in a sample of 101 female undergraduates. Weight bias internalization refers to the process of accepting negative stereotypes related to overweight and obesity, and negatively evaluating oneself based on this acceptance. Body shape concerns refer to the experience of inordinate amounts of attention and distress related to one’s weight and shape. It was proposed that while these constructs do overlap conceptually, they remain distinct. Thus, it was hypothesized that WBI and body shape concerns would significantly correlate, both with one another and with measures of dietary restraint and binge eating. Further, it was hypothesized that WBI and body shape concerns would both operate as significant predictors of binge eating and dietary restraint in a hierarchical regression analysis. WBI, body shape concerns, binge eating and dietary restraint all demonstrated strong intercorrelations. Unexpectedly, only body shape concerns significantly predicted disordered eating. Evidently, both constructs have an important relationship with subclinical disordered eating behaviour in young women, however, Weight Bias Internalization Scale items require refinement to improve their ability to detect stigma-related weight and shape concern.
Eating disorder prevention: The efficacy of NEDIC’s self-esteem and media literacy workshops
Candice Richardson, University of Toronto/NEDIC
Having volunteered with NEDIC in outreach and education for over one year, I have seen first-hand the positive effect of our self-esteem and critical media literacy workshops, especially among youth. With each outreach and education presentation NEDIC conducts, we request participants fill out anonymous evaluation forms. We use their feedback to tailor future workshops for similar age groups and better meet the needs of—and connect with—various audiences. These presentations and community outreach activities serve a critical role in the awareness and prevention of eating disorders; however, their merits may be difficult to evaluate without seeing the reactions of participants first-hand, or hearing their feedback. Thus, I will present some of the data from our post-workshop evaluations which we have collected over the past three years, to illustrate the positive impact of these seminars.
As well, NEDIC operates Canada’s only national toll-free helpline specialized in providing information on treatment options and support for those affected by disordered eating and related concerns. I will provide statistics in regards to NEDIC’s reach and the number of lives touched since 2001, both through the helpline and outreach and education. I hope to showcase the positive impact and significance of NEDIC’s work in today’s culture.
How Cognitively Efficient are Social Comparisons Made to Media Images?
Alyssa Saiphoo, Ryerson University
It has been reliably shown that comparisons that young females make to the thin-ideal images in the media often have negative consequences for mood and body satisfaction. It has been suggested, and generally accepted, that these comparisons are cognitive efficient and occur automatically when exposure to these images occurs. However, empirical evidence of this is not clear. Thus, researchers have been trying to better understand whether these comparisons are cognitively efficient and automatic, or cognitively inefficient and controlled. Results of the present study suggest that these comparisons are controlled, and thus may not be as harmful as once thought.
Body Brave: An Integrative Approach to Eating Disorder Recovery
Sonia Seguin, Body Brave
Survivors of eating disorders are in a unique position to bring their own perspectives on the healing process. A peer-to-peer approach to treatment can be particularly powerful, as those whose lives have been affected by an eating disorder can readily connect with someone who has already experienced something similar. Our model for eating disorder recovery was developed by Sonia Seguin, MA, eating disorder survivor and yoga and meditation instructor, in collaboration with Dr Karen Trollope, MD, PhD, CCFP, and Jivasu, MD, an internationally known meditation teacher. Participants are encouraged to learn and share skills and strategies derived from CBT and DBT, along with body-based practices such as yoga, meditation and breathing techniques. Peer support is offered primarily in small group settings, for both sufferers and family members. Patti Perry (RN, MScN and director of the Eating Disorder Clinic) has acted as an advisor and consultant. This recovery process is aimed at building resilience and addresses meaning and purpose in life, relationships and self-care which includes emotional, physical and cognitive well-being. Sonia and her team will present the elements of this clear, simple and elegant model, including some of the practical tools and skills. This peer support model offers a flexible and empowering approach to recovery that can be tailored to the unique needs of the individual.
The associations between body checking and body-related self-conscious emotions among men and women across the lifespan
Shauna Solomon-Krakus, University of Toronto
Body checking is a maladaptive behaviour associated with negative cognitive and emotional body-related outcomes, yet the associations with body-related self-conscious emotions remain unexplored. This study examined whether body checking was a significant predictor of body-related shame, guilt, authentic pride, and hubristic pride among men and women across the lifespan. Participants were 525 adults (378 women) between the ages of 17 and 74 (M = 28.51, SD = 14.72). Preliminary analyses showed women reported significantly more body-checking (p <.001), body-related shame (p <.001), and body-related guilt (p <.001) than men, whereas men reported significantly more body-related hubristic pride (p <.001) compared to women. Based on sex-stratified hierarchical linear regression models, body checking was positively associated with body-related shame (R2 = 0.29 & 0.44, p < .001) and body-related guilt (R2 = 0.34 & 0.45, p < .001) for men and women, respectively. In contrast, body checking was negatively associated with body-related authentic pride (R2 = 0.16 & 0.10, p <.001) for men and women, respectively. Body checking could not predict body-related hubristic pride for either sex (p >.05). Therefore, intervention and prevention efforts aimed at fostering adaptive body-related self-conscious emotions may want to pay increased attention to body checking.
Too Busy to Compare: Social Comparisons with Media Images are Inefficient Processes
Zahra Vahedi, Ryerson University
The submitted poster presents the results of one of two studies in an article that was published last year regarding the cognitive efficiency of social comparisons with media images depicting the thin ideal, as well the effects these images have on female viewers' mood and appearance satisfaction.
Article title: On the Cognitive (In)Efficiency of Social Comparisons with Media Images. Sex Roles, 73, 519-532.
The complicated nature of disclosure: A situational analysis perspective
Emily Williams, University of Calgary
One of the greatest barriers to receiving help for an eating disorder is first disclosing that one has a problem. Disclosure is the act of sharing something private with others. The topic of disclosing is imperative to study because the act of communicating one has an eating disorder is considered the gateway for many individuals to receive professional help. For many individuals with eating disorders, they cannot begin recovery without inviting somebody else into their experience. Surprisingly, there are very few studies that have emphasized the disclosure of eating disorders. Of the few studies available, researchers have examined the most likely targets of disclosure and the likelihood of help seeking afterward. While important areas to study, I sought to learn more about the complex nature of disclosure through the perspectives of individuals relaying these personal accounts online. This poster presentation offers a representation of the complexities and tensions that make up the disclosure of an eating disorder, illustrating that these experiences vary greatly from person to person. Further, this presentation suggests that disclosures are comprised of many factors that unfold over time (i.e., build up of tensions, reactions from recipients of disclosure, societal stigma, feeling like one cannot hide their eating disorder any longer), rather than a one-time event.
Eating disorders and traumatic pasts: Guidelines for clinical assessment
Emily Williams, University of Calgary
Literature demonstrates that traumatic exposure increases the probability that one will develop an eating disorder, specifically characteristic of binge-purge type eating disorder behaviours. The objective of this poster presentation is to emphasize the statistically significant probability that the experience of clinical post-traumatic stress disorder or partial post-traumatic stress disorder increases the risk of developing an eating disorder. Clinicians have noted that when diagnosing and treating individuals with eating disorders that co-morbidity is typically the rule rather than the exception. With this knowledge in mind, in the presentation we offer guidelines for trauma informed screening and assessment for those with eating disorders. This summary will highlight promising practices for the assessment of trauma in those with eating disorders, as well as future directions for clinical assessment of trauma within this population. This presentation will be of interest to clinicians and human service professionals who work with individuals with eating disorders, as well as those who work in the area of trauma.