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Athletes with eating disorders risk compromising not only their performance but also their health and general well-being. These serious issues make recognizing and treating eating disorders extremely important. Unfortunately, the prevalence of eating disorders in certain sports is high, and identifying problems can be difficult. Accessing and engaging such athletes in effective treatment is also no easy task. By fostering understanding and cooperation between clinicians and others who work in the sport environment, athletes will have the best opportunity to access high quality treatment at the right time and have the greatest chance to repair both their health and sport performance. This paper takes a psychiatric perspective on eating disorders among athletes and discusses prevalence, diagnostic issues, and treatment options.
Alan Currie, M.D. is with the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.