Part of Lesson Plan: Eating Disorders and the Female Athlete Triad
Activity Overview / Details
For the second day of this lesson, the instructor should lead an interactive discussion on the subject of eating disorders. Begin by asking the students how they felt after writing their reflective journal last night. Ask them if it was difficult for them to imagine what life would be like, etc.
The attached lecture below is to be used as a tool to lead a discussion through body image, the top 8 contributing factors to the development of eating disorders, the characteristics, signs, and health consequences of both types of eating disorders, and strategies for prevention.
Here are a few suggestions on how to best go about teaching this section of the lesson:
1. The instructor may choose to hand out this entire lecture to their students or to make it into a worksheet for students to fill-in. (From my experience in teaching this particular topic, I feel the students are more engaged if they can participate in the discussion without feeling like it is a lecture -- i.e. I do not hand out notes or worksheets.)
2. Understand that this can be a sensitive subject for many of the students. It is important to manage the discussion in such a way that it is kept positive and appropriate. DO NOT force anyone to answer a question, and also do not let any one student monopolize the discussion. If the students are reluctant to answer, try simplifying the question or taking a different angle to encourage participation.
3. It can be very effective to draw a pie chart with 8 slices when discussing the "8 contributing factors" section of the lecture. Make sure to emphasize that the Primary Caregiver is the number one factor that influences the development of an eating disorder. Additionally, some students may be alarmed by this section of the discussion. Please emphasize that while these are contributing factors, having one or more of them does not automatically mean that the student will develop an eating disorder. The association really works the other direction -- i.e. if someone has an eating disorder, they are likely to have several of the contributing factors. Not vice versa.
4. When the instructor reaches the "Cultural Pressure" section of the contributing factors, he/she can really emphasize the point of this section by showing the following video on the Dove website:
The video quickly progresses the image from a very plain looking model to the image that appears on a billboard. It is a profound video.
On a personal note...
This subject is very close to my heart. As a Chiropractor and Sports Physician, I have had the opportunity to work intimately with several severely eating disordered girls, and have seen this disease take the lives of two of them. While I understand this is a difficult issue to discuss, I feel it is imperative that students be made aware of the dangers of "messing with" their food. If you have ANY questions about this portion of the lesson, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at email@example.com -- I am more than happy to clarify any of the topics and/or give you additional information.
Materials / Resource
- Body Image and Eating Disorders Discussion.doc [ Download ]