Renee McGregor: Tackling eating disorders

Full of Fire

Jun 26 2020 • 52 mins

In this episode of Full of Fire, I speak to leading sports and eating disorders dietician Renee McGregor and find out about her job, her own terrifying experience of anorexia and her work with young athletes to encourage healthy relationships with food and exercise.

Renee is a best-selling author and leading sports and eating disorder dietitian with over 15 years experience working with elite athletes, coaches and sport science teams alongside normal teenagers.

Renee has delivered nutrition support to athletes over the last two Olympic and Paralympic cycles, and regularly works with high performing and professional athletes that have developed a dysfunctional relationship with food and exercise.

She founded the #TRAINBRAVE campaign aiming to inspire more athletes to share their stories and raise awareness of the risks of eating disorders and RED-s (Relative Energy Deficiency syndrome - when people regularly exercise hard and don’t eat enough to refuel).

Renee talks about the reasons young people develop eating disorders and speaks about her own experiences with racism and low self-worth as a teenager that led to her own anorexia.

She highlights the damaging messages that are transmitted via social media by influencers and celebrities who have no education in nutrition. Renee herself aims to use social media to educate with truth and science (after studying for 3 degrees in Biochemistry, Dietetics and Sports Nutrition!), but admits to having a love/hate relationship with Instagram.

Renee also talks about the signs you can notice in yourself and your friends of developing unhealthy relationships with food or exercise and gives advice about what to do if you have a friend you’re worried about.

This is an in-depth episode that is valuable listening for young people - and also for sports coaches, PE teachers and parents. Nutrition, sports nutrition, eating disorders and RED-s are such complex areas, but it’s really important to be aware of the issues.