Researchers have questioned aerobic instructors’ status as healthy role models by suggesting that they are excessive exercisers who may be at risk for developing eating disorders. To address this issue, 286 female aerobic instructors (mean age = 34.1) completed the Commitment to Exercise Scale (CES) and the Bulimia (B), Body Dissatisfaction (BD), and Drive for Thinness (DT) subscales of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2). Instructors scored low on the CES (M = 62.24) relative to other high-exercising populations. Scores on the EDI-2 subscales were also low compared to published norms (M = .78, 7.8, and 3.2 for B, BD, and DT, respectively). Simple correlations revealed that the CES was related to all three EDI-2 subscales (rs ranged from .18 to .30; ps < .01). Discussion focuses on factors that may account for instructors’ healthy attitudes toward exercise and eating, and practical implications for sport psychologists who work with fitness instructors.
Kathleen A. Martin is with the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University, Box 7868 Reynolda Station, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7868. Heather A. Hausenblas is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.