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Programs on a Diet?: An Examination of Athletic Departments’ Eating Disorder Policies at NCAA Division I Universities

Taylor K. Wise

Disordered eating (DE) plays a significant role in the overall health and athletic performance of collegiate athletes. The present study sought to determine how many NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Institutions have a policy that specifically addresses the prevention and management of DE for their participating athletes and to examine the content of the existing policies. The study searched for policies in the 128 FBS institutions through an online web-search and by contacting athletic department personnel. A total of 33 currently existing policies on athletes with eating disorders (EDs) were found, 13 of which were found online. A documentary analysis was then conducted to determine the type of information that policies include. Sixteen major themes were found throughout the analysis, including themes that related to prevention, risk factors, identification, treatment, referral, and return-to-play guidelines.