Episode 25: Do Sports Cause Eating Disorders?


Most people assume athletics and healthy bodies are synonymous. But the truth is much more complicated. For researcher Traci Carson, sports were her world - from elementary school through college she excelled at soccer, track, football, and women’s rowing. But a dark side of competition prompted her to get off the field and into a doctoral program for epidemiology to study the link between female athletes and eating disorders. Her story of recovery and research are the focus of today’s episode — giving you the information needed to find balance in athletics.

For a male perspective on the connection between sports and body image, check out episodes 8 & 19 with former Seattle Seahawk Patrick Devenny, and former Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Marjama.



About Me:

Traci Carson is a second year PhD candidate in the department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She graduated with a B.A. in Sport Management from the Michigan School of Kinesiology in 2015 and then went on to earn a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education in 2017. Her research focuses on low energy availability and chronic stress in female athletes and subsequent outcomes of amenorrhea, anxiety and loss of bone mineral density. She is particularly interested in eating disorders as a risk factor for low energy availability. Additionally, Traci is an advocate for mental health help-seeking among high school and college students, acting as a board member for Athletes Connected and speaking at local high schools about mental health education. 

Fun Facts: 

  1. Her initials are TLC 
  2. She was the place-kicker for her high school Varsity football team (Go Bobcats!)  
  3. In her free time, Traci enjoys hiking, biking, flipping upside down, and watching stand-up comedy. 
  4. She can always be spotted in her favorite local coffee shop in Ann Arbor 

Go to iTunes and check out Mental Note.

Subscribe and add it to a playlist! For iPhones and iPads, use the Apple Podcasts app. It usually comes installed on most Apple devices. In the app, search for Mental Note and then hit subscribe.

For android phones and tablets, try the Stitcher app. Get that from Google Play. In Stitcher, search for Mental Note and click the plus sign (+) to add it to your Favorites List.

Sign up for the Mental Note e-newsletter

Click here to hear from our main characters and to receive tips about recovery and healthful living.

Contact Us:

Feel free to share ideas for future episodes or share your #myrecoveryletter with us. Email us at mentalnote@eatingrecovery.com. We’d love to hear from you!

chat with us

Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

Joint Commission Seal
Schedule a Free Consultation