Eating Attitudes, Body Image, and Nutrient Intake in Female Triathletes

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

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Holly WethingtonUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Health Promotion and Kinesiology 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223

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Claudia FlowersUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Health Promotion and Kinesiology 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223

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Michael TurnerUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Health Promotion and Kinesiology 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223

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Rita DiGioacchino DeBateUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Health Promotion and Kinesiology 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223

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Focusing on female triathletes, this study was an exploration of behaviors and attitudes that may lead to disordered eating among female triathletes. One hundred and eighty-eight female triathletes residing in the U.S. completed an Internet-based questionnaire comprised of measures for disordered eating, body size distortion and dissatisfaction, and food consumption. Statistically significant relationships were identified regarding Preoccupation with Weight and Food Consumption (r= 0.52, p=0.005), Oral Control and Food Consumption (r= 0.32, p=0.04), and Food Restriction and Food Consumption (r= −0.30, p=0.04). Body Size Distortion was also significantly correlated to Food Consumption (r= −0.19, p=0.01), especially among the Sprint distance competitors (r= −0.21, p=0.02). Based upon the findings we suggest food restriction, body size distortion, and disordered eating attitudes are apparent among female triathletes, especially those who are club level athletes and short distance competitors.

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