The Switch4Good Podcast

The Truth About Eating Disorders & Treatment with Dr. Ron Thompson

Jun 12, 2019

Watch Episode 26 with Dr. Ron Thompson here:

Few illnesses are met with as many misconceptions as eating disorders.

They’re often over-simplified with one four-letter word: just.

Just eat a cheeseburger. She’s just doing it to lose weight.

Dr. Ron Thompson is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, and he joins Dotsie and Alexandra in this episode to explain that it really isn’t that simple.

Dr. Thompson has served as a consulting psychologist for the Athletic Department at Indiana University and as a consultant on eating disorders to the NCAA. He’s known for broadening the awareness of athletes as a special interest group with unique treatment needs and for trailblazing the path for athlete-specific treatment options.

His publications include Bulimia: A Guide for Friends and Family, The Exercise Balance, and Eating Disorders in Sports, and he coauthored the Disordered Eating section of the NCAA Coaches Handbook.

In this episode, Dr. Thompson discusses the multidimensionality of eating disorders and their treatment. He explains why effective treatment relies on an understanding of the patient as a whole, why certain factors make someone more likely to develop problems with food, and the unique challenges that contribute to eating disorders in athletes.

You’ll also hear why eating disorders rarely have to do with thinness and what you need to do if you or a loved one is struggling.

Listen to Episode 26 with Dr. Ron Thompson here:

What we discuss in this episode:

  • The difference between disordered eating and eating disorders, and why both often require treatment
  • What it means to eat intuitively
  • Is an eating disorder an addiction? Can you ever truly be free of problems with eating?
  • Genetic predisposition, trauma, and other factors that make someone vulnerable to an eating disorder
  • Weight loss as a symptom: Dispelling the myth that a desire for thinness is the cause of an eating disorder
  • The surprising rate of male athletes with eating disorders, why we can’t get distracted by “high risk” sports, and the role gender plays in seeking treatment
  • How eating disorders manifest for men and how it’s changed over time
  • Why effective treatment relies on understanding the multidimensional functions of eating disorders
  • Advice for parents of children with eating disorders, and resources for treatment including the National Eating Disorder Association, The Academy for Eating Disorders, and Gurze Books
  • If you have more questions for Dr. Thompson, send them over to [email protected]


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