The BodySense initiative was created in 1999 after an Eastern Ontario needs assessment indicated that there was a gap in services available with regards to positive body image and disordered eating. With a 2.5-year research grant awarded to Gail McVey, PhD., at the Toronto General Hospital, from the Ontario Women's Health Council, a multi-site disordered eating prevention project was started. The initiative included two comprehensive primary prevention school-based program sites in Toronto and the Peel Region (McVey, Tweed, & Blackmore, 2007) with a secondary prevention site in Ottawa (Buchholz, Mack, McVey,  Feder, & Barrowman, 2008). BodySense was the name for the secondary prevention site dealing with settings and people who were already at risk of developing disordered eating.

During its pilot stage, BodySense held discussion groups in club settings, created prevention materials in the form of brochures and newsletters, implemented a prevention program which included an in-club presentation, and evaluated the program's implementation.

In 2004, BodySense was adopted by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. It began to receive funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation including support for Ontario-wide implementation through the partnership of three provincial sport organizations: Gymnastics Ontario; Skate Canada, Eastern Ontario; and Dive Ontario. In addition BodySense was supported by the Coaches Association of Ontario and the Coaching Association of Canada.

As of 2009 BodySense is offered jointly by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and the True Sport Foundation.


BodySense would like to thank those individuals and organizations who have supported and continue to support us in our quest to service the sport community! We look forward to continuing our partnerships, while  engaging new partners, as we work toward fostering positive body image and self esteem in athletes at all levels and sports across Canada!

Founding Organizations



Supporting Organizations



  • Dr. Annick Buchholz, Psychologist, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Dr. Steve Feder, Physician, Pinecrest-Queensway Health and Community Services, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Heidi Mack,  Curriculum Designer, Curriculum Writer
  • Heather Harrison, Former Outreach Coordinator for BodySense

Buchholz, A., Mack, H., McVey, G.L., Feder, S. & Barrowman, N. (2008).  An evaluation of the prevention project BODYSENSE: A positive body image initiative for female athletes.  Eating Disorders: Journal of Treatment and Prevention, 16, 308-321.

McVey, G.L., Tweed, S. & Blackmore, E. (2007).  Healthy Schools-Healthy Kids: A controlled evaluation of a comprehensive eating disorder prevention program.  Body Image: An International Research Journal, 4, 115-136.