University Florida Logo In addition to lowering the risk of death due to prostate cancer and rejuvenating the aging brain, exercise now seems to be beneficial for patients diagnosed with eating disorders as well. Experts from the University of Florida claim that exercise can help prevent and treat eating disorders. It was suggested that exercise can be an affordable treatment to address the needs of people with eating disorders.

While conducting the study, 539 normal-weight students, majority of them without the risk of eating disorders were thoroughly surveyed by the experts. The students’ drive to be thin, along with their exercise habits and risk for exercise dependence were monitored. Then with the assistance of statistical models, the potential relationships were analyzed. It was observed that exercise restricts and treats eating disorders.

Heather Hausenblas, a UF exercise psychologist, commented, “When it comes to eating disorders, exercise has always been seen as a negative because people use it as a way to control their weight. But for most people, exercise is a very positive thing. Our results show it’s not necessarily bad for people with disordered eating to engage in exercise. The effects on self-esteem, depression, mood and body image can reduce the risk of eating pathologies.”

The study findings appear crucial in understanding the complex interactions between exercise behaviors and eating pathology. Exercise therapies can probably relieve the burden of such diseases on the health-care system. In case the patient is extremely underweight, than two or three hours a day can be apparently spent on exercising.

The study is published in the January issue of European Eating Disorders Review.