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Most effective way to raise concerns about a coach? (Read 6006 times)

Oldmanmatt

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How likely is it that a young girl, with a performance coach, is going to be overweight, let alone obese?

Murph

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(Completely off topic from OP)

Agree with what you put there Pete.

We don’t live in a normal food environment so having a normal relationship with food / normal eating pattern etc is going to produce extraordinary waist sizes for most people.

It’s really socially acceptable to encourage someone to eat more. Happens all the time. I can’t order a coffee or go to the office without being offered some sort of cake.  But to encourage someone to eat less...call the cops!

16p for a bag of doughnuts in the coop this evening. How is anyone without a performance goal not overweight...!?

OMM - it’s the teenage / vulnerable person aspect that makes this a tricky subject of course...and I don’t want to get puttered for this view...but “overweight” as medically defined isn’t really the test for any athlete (and shouldn’t be for a lot of non adults either). Someone like a Megos or a McClure could happily be two stone heavier and still not be overweight. But according to some people only a doctor would be able to suggest they lost a bit of weight. I don’t share that view. None of us would have heard of Megos if he was 2 stone heavier.

Of course there’s a time and a place and I have no view on the specifics of the OP.

mrjonathanr

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Interesting to muse on social trends in respect of obesity, for sure.

That ignores the OPs concern about whether an adult with a duty of care is discharging it appropriately though. Teenage girls are a vulnerable group in this respect and eating disorders are very nasty- and potentially fatal. I don’t know if you have seen how a young person with anorexia looks and behaves, but it’s frightening. Adult behaviour in this context matters.

teestub

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Apologies for drawing this off topic, I agree that this is a serious matter, and I’m somewhat heartened that the BMC has someone in place who can be contacted on these sort of matters

mrjonathanr

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Sorry didn’t mean to sound so pompous but it does need care. Nick is generally in charge of safeguarding so would be a sensible first port of call.

monkoffunk

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How likely is it that a young girl, with a performance coach, is going to be overweight, let alone obese?

Yeah, and not to get to involved in the training side of this when the mental health/eating disorder side is far more important, but what 'performance coach' would want children under their care to be as light as possible for a performance boost now, when the benefits of training their fingers at a sensible weight over years will do them more good for a healthy life of climbing, as opposed to a few hard ticks now at the expense of their health both mental and physical?

winhill

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Here's the deal: do not say anything in public about other peoples appearance. This is really basic. Even more basic is that the only one who's any right to call you fat is your doctor. To comment on someone's weight from a position of power is so wrong that the mind boggles.
I don't know how long it is since you've been to a wedding but it's usually considered de rigueur that you compliment the plump. garishly dressed bridesmaids on how absolutely fabulous they look.

Some people have become completely paranoid about talking about weight but the vectorisation is all wrong, it's just a form of panic, of risk aversion.

Anorexics might well be uncomfortable about discussing weight but it is still very rare disease, we shouldn't base our everyday conversations on those we might have with people who have very real mental health problems (check the Mind website, they point out that you don't give someone a complex mental health problem by having a conversation with them about weight or eating disorders).

It's true that anorexia and bulimia are social diseases - they don't occur outside of the consumerist West, but it doesn't follow that a mention of weight will be a cause.

Loughborough University have a Centre for Research into Eating Disorders and as part of there Sport Science Health dept  that has been there for  decades, (Oxford Uni since 1981) so although there is a very faddish concern about this now, it isn't a new problem and being reasonably bright people there is little new that a newspaper article can tell them.

LUCRED did an interesting bit in conjunction with an NHS psychiatrist about 10 years ago, and they found that in women there was a split between women who were low performers (in a competitive sense) and high performers. So you would expect to see higher performing sportswomen over represented in an study. The psychiatrist had an interesting theory about female competitiveness and it's contribution to eating disorders but even at Loughborough, did not manage to capture sufficient date (ie 1,000s rather than 100s) due to the rarity of the diseases.

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Some interesting use of dehumanising language there. (Vectorisation, disease, ‘anorexics’) and strange mix of information and opinion dressed up as fact. I’m pretty sure that neither mind nor Loughborough in their lofty position of sports science grandiosity would dispute the assertion that being critical of a (potentially vulnerable) persons weight from a position of influence has the potential to lead to a negative reaction. My understanding is that the mix of this critical approach and sports that focus on weight e.g. gymnastics, climbing, wrestling etc is a well recognised vulnerability for ed’s. Also I’m not sure what you mean by rare, but certainly not ‘rare’ enough for the government not to spend millions on eating disorder prevention in adolescents  over the past 10 years.

andy popp

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Here's the deal: do not say anything in public about other peoples appearance. This is really basic. Even more basic is that the only one who's any right to call you fat is your doctor. To comment on someone's weight from a position of power is so wrong that the mind boggles.
I don't know how long it is since you've been to a wedding but it's usually considered de rigueur that you compliment the plump. garishly dressed bridesmaids on how absolutely fabulous they look.


This is just weird.

winhill

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Some interesting use of dehumanising language there. (Vectorisation, disease, ‘anorexics’) and strange mix of information and opinion dressed up as fact.  Also I’m not sure what you mean by rare, but certainly not ‘rare’ enough for the government not to spend millions on eating disorder prevention in adolescents  over the past 10 years.
Again, this is just paranoia about language, lots of illnesses have disaease as part of their name, it's pretty common, Lyme, Parkinson's, Chronic Heart, you can't claim that those diseases are more 'dehumanising' just because of the name.

Here's a post from the New York Times showing Anorexics in common usage

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/well/live/anorexia-eating-disorders-adults-anorexic-aging.html

If an NHS Psychiatrist with decades of experience in the field says a disease is rare then I trust that more than I'd listen to you saying the opposite because you don't like it.

A doctor at my Dr's practice is pretty obsessive about sugar and obesity, (if we ignore the thin-privilege types who claim WHO anti-obesity campaigns are a form of hate crime) and his argument is that obesity is the 2nd worst health crisis (after smoking) and the current paranoia around talking about fat means that overall, it does much more harm than good.

webbo

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As someone who spent 30 years working for the NHS in Mental Health my first hand experience tells me it isn’t that rare.

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Cheers for the link, interesting stuff. Your description of the use of diagnostic language in the NHS / health services is an important point. Not drawing a distinction between physical and mental ‘illness’ and the use of a diagnosis can be really beneficial and reduce stigma as well as allow people to shift their understanding of their mental ‘illness’ from a position of personal responsibility and self blame to an new understanding of a treatable condition. The ‘dehumanising’ aspect is more to do with the health professionals reaction which uses that language (amongst other things) to defend themselves against the distressing reality of dealing with an unwell person and all that complexity. This has been studied in detail in the NHS and how it’s systems respond defensively to illness and it happens in both physical and mental health services. My point would be to say ‘let’s review the Kidney disease in bed one’ or ‘the anorexic in bed two’ would have the same dehumanising defensive outcome for the health professional involved. GP’s of course are under massive pressure as are nursing staff and therapists of all kinds, which leads to this self preservation but a subsequent reduction in empathy. The work of the psychoanalyst Isabel Menzies-Lyth looked at these things in systems of health care. I don’t mind so much whether you want to listen to me although it’s always great to be agreed with! But I would question the health professionals and research talking about things in such black and white medicalised terms. Even a psychiatrist with years of experience is vulnerable to this and may have even operated in this way due to an intensely pressured job for many years. If I picked up a research paper that described the ‘vectorisation of the rare disease of anorexics’ I’d wonder what was going on with the author not the patients.

mrjonathanr

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Winhill you quote jwi
Quote
To comment on someone's weight from a position of power is so wrong

and then make no attempt to address it whilst throwing out a few disjointed references. That's really odd. Do you understand the point he's making?

petejh

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The OP's question was answered quickly and there's very little more to be said about it.

A thread about eating disorders is likely to stray off topic into the wider context of health, food and especially overeating. Especially given the current epidemic of ill health in the developed world, which is strongly associated with over eating. JWI posting that 'nobody should comment on weight unless they're a doctor' is inevitably going to raise eyebrows.
 
Perhaps Winhill is baffled, as I am, at the seeming disparity between how solemnly people approach the topic of eating disorders, versus how seriously people view being overweight (not just obese). I find surprising the average person's lack of understanding of the risks associated with being overweight.  :shrug:

Webbo, the survey linked below suggests that a tiny proportion of young people develop eating disorders. See below for population estimates. Yes these are likely to be under-reported and a great many people suffer in silence. But the numbers are still minuscule compared to prevalence of ill health caused by being over weight.

Threads like this make me question: if posts expressing concern about the tiny risk of a kid developing an eating disorder - because the poster overheard she may have been given an inappropriate message by a coach; then why not posts expressing concern because the other day a poster walked past a school and noticed 30-40% of the kids playing outside were overweight?
Those 30-40% of kids that are overweight, have become overweight with the tacit acknowledgment of parents and mentors. And those kids are looking at a worse future needlessly exposed to elevated risk of ill health and early death caused by excessive calorie balance. That's literally millions of young people in the UK.. Obesity and being overweight has insidiously become the normal yet a person's weight is something that - in JWI's opinion - 'you don't mention'.


Some stats to send all asleep, which highlight the prevalence of Eating Disorders and Overweight/Obesity:

Age-standardised rates of Eating Disorder were 37.2 (95% CI 36.6 to 37.9) per 100 000 in 2009. (Or 0.04% of population)
''The peak age of onset for an ED diagnosis in females was between 15 and 19 years. In this age range, the incidence of ED for females was 0.2% of the population in 2009.''
https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/5/e002646

1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder
There are up to 18 new diagnoses of bulimia nervosa, per 100,000 people, per year
1 in 100 women aged between 15 and 30, are affected by anorexia nervosa (1%)
10% of people affected by an eating disorder suffer from anorexia nervosa
40% of people affected by an eating disorder suffer from bulimia nervosa
The rest of sufferers fall into the BED or OSFED categories of eating disorders
https://www.priorygroup.com/eating-disorders/eating-disorder-statistics
 
Approximately 40% of 16 - 24 year-olds are overweight or obese in the UK.
Being overweight is the second leading cause of cancer.
Strong association with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression.
''of the 4 million deaths (globally) attributed to being overweight in 2015, nearly 40% were not considered clinically obese''
https://www.nhs.uk/news/obesity/being-overweight-not-just-obese-still-carries-serious-health-risks/


When JWI's says that nobody except a doctor should comment on somebody's weight I think that's completely wrong-minded. It prioritises not upsetting a tiny proportion of people who suffer a rare mental health condition, over talking openly and honestly about a well-known proven health risk for a massive majority of people at risk.
I think people should have a greater awareness of the link between their personal choice of eating habit, their weight and their health, similar to how they would if they choose to smoke cigarettes. Especially young people. That increase in awareness won't happen by not mentioning weight.

Merry xmas  :popcorn:

nik at work

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Pete I agree with all of that.

That's not to say that the coaches comments were appropriate, it sounds like they almost certainly weren't.

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A recent survey or North American males found 42% were overweight, 34% were critically obese and 8% ate the survey.

Rocksteady

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I've raised the question with the BMC rep and the head of the climbing wall concerned, will update re: their responses.

On the thread above, clearly it's a massive concern that kids are overweight. I more or less agree that it should be OK to tackle this as an adult responsible for their care.

But this is really different from what I saw, which was someone who is essentially thin being told they should be thinner, in the context of a sport with a competitive climate that has serious concerns re: eating disorders.
See this article by Natalie Berry: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/growing_pains_-_the_weight_of_womanhood-10942
Also interesting: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46469538

And the Joe Kinder Downfall thread also has some similar concerns.

thekettle

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http://health4performance.co.uk/
This website is an excellent source of knowledge and advice for climbers, coaches, parents and concerned friends to improve their understanding of RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport -a new gender-neutral development of the Female Athlete Triad) which is worth being mindful of.
There's also a good podcast interview from a climbing coach with the lead doctor Nicky Keay here:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/223353

cheque

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https://www.climbing.com/news/disordered-eating-poses-a-danger-to-climbers/

Don't have anything to add to this but from a study linked in this article I learned the term "antigravitation sports" 8) If I was opening a climbing gear shop I'd totally be calling it that.

Rocksteady

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For sake of closure - I did get in touch with the BMC rep (out of office) and then the head manager of the climbing wall concerned.

The wall manager took my comments very seriously and has referred the situation to a safeguarding rep for the wall.
I don't think I will get any insight into what action actually gets taken etc but the wall manager has committed to take appropriate steps.

Hopefully coach will get appropriate training and no kids have been seriously impacted.

petejh

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Good article on RED - S  athletes under eating for performance gains.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46469538

 

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