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Christopher D. Lantz, Deborah J. Rhea and Karin Mesnier

This study examined the relationships among eating attitudes, exercise identity, and body alienation in ultramarathoners. Eighty-seven competitive ultramarathoners (73 males, 14 females) completed the Eating Attitudes Test–26, Exercise Identity Scale, and Body Alienation Scale as part of their pre-race registration. Correlation coefficients revealed that eating attitudes were positively related to exercise identity (R = 0.31) and injury tolerance (R = 0.43), and that exercise identity was positively related to injury tolerance (R = 0.33). MANOVA further indicated that subjects with high exercise identity reported more eating disorder behaviors [F(2, 80) = 7.73, P < 0.001 J and higher injury tolerance [F (2, 80) = 3.69, P < 0.05] than persons with low exercise identity. Female ultramarathoners scoring high on exercise identity were more likely to report aberrant eating behaviors [F (2, 80) = 3.39, P < 0.05J and higher training intensity levels [F (2, 80) = 3.91, p < 0.02J than were average males and the low- or moderate-exercise identifying females.

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Lenka Humenikova Shriver, Nancy Mulhollen Betts and Mark Edward Payton

Background:

Many wrestlers engage in chronic dieting and rapid “weight cutting” throughout the year to compete in a category below their natural weight. Such weightmanagement practices have a negative influence on their health and nutritional status, so the National Wrestling Coaches Association implemented a new weight-management program for high school wrestlers in 2006.

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether seasonal changes in weight, body fat, and eating attitudes occur among high school wrestlers after the implementation of the new weight-management rule.

Methods:

Fifteen high school wrestlers participated in the study. Their weight, body composition, and eating attitudes were measured preseason, in-season, and off-season. Body fat was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Attitudes toward dieting, food, and body weight were assessed using the Eating Attitude Test (EAT).

Results:

No significant changes in body fat were detected from preseason to off-season. Weight increased from preseason to in-season (p < .05) and off-season (p < .05). Although the EAT score did not change significantly from preseason to offseason, 60% reported “thinking about burning up calories when exercising” during preseason, and only 40% felt that way during the season (p < .05) and 47% during off-season (p < .05).

Conclusions:

The wrestlers experienced a significant weight gain from preseason to off-season with no significant changes in body fat. Their eating attitudes did not change significantly from preseason to off-season in this study, but further research using a large sample of high school wrestlers is warranted to confirm these findings.

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Candi D. Ashley, Joe F. Smith, James B. Robinson and Mark T. Richardson

The purpose of this study was to use the Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2) to compare disordered eating pathology between female intercollegiate athletes and a control group of nonathletic subjects enrolled in an advanced program of study. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures revealed no significant difference (NSD) (p > .05) between any of the athletic groups or the control group on any EDI-2 subscale, and there was no significant difference between “lean” sports, other sports, and the control group. There was also NSD on EDI-2 subscale scores on the basis of age. African Americans had significantly lower scores on the Body Dissatisfaction and Impulse Regulation subscales than white Americans. Chi-square analysis revealed NSD between any groups in percentage of respondents scoring above anorexic norms. The results did not indicate a greater amount of disordered eating in female athletes compared to nonathlete controls.

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Noel Pollock, Claire Grogan, Mark Perry, Charles Pedlar, Karl Cooke, Dylan Morrissey and Lygeri Dimitriou

Low bone-mineral density (BMD) is associated with menstrual dysfunction and negative energy balance in the female athlete triad. This study determines BMD in elite female endurance runners and the associations between BMD, menstrual status, disordered eating, and training volume. Forty-four elite endurance runners participated in the cross-sectional study, and 7 provided longitudinal data. Low BMD was noted in 34.2% of the athletes at the lumbar spine, and osteoporosis in 33% at the radius. In cross-sectional analysis, there were no significant relationships between BMD and the possible associations. Menstrual dysfunction, disordered eating, and low BMD were coexistent in 15.9% of athletes. Longitudinal analysis identified a positive association between the BMD reduction at the lumbar spine and training volume (p = .026). This study confirms the presence of aspects of the female athlete triad in elite female endurance athletes and notes a substantial prevalence of low BMD and osteoporosis. Normal menstrual status was not significantly associated with normal BMD, and it is the authors’ practice that all elite female endurance athletes undergo dual-X-ray absorptiometry screening. The association between increased training volume, trend for menstrual dysfunction, and increased loss of lumbar BMD may support the concept that negative energy balance contributes to bone loss in athletes.

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Edith Filaire, Alain Massart, Jiewen Hua and Christine Le Scanff

Purpose:

The aims of study were to examine the eating behaviors among 26 professional female tennis players and to assess the diurnal patterns of stress hormones through the measurement of awakening and diurnal profiles of salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) and cortisol concentrations.

Methods:

Eating behaviors were assessed through three questionnaires (Eating Attitudes Test-26; Eating Disorders Inventory 2; and Body Shape Questionnaire), food intake by a 7-day diet record, and menstrual status by questionnaire. Perceived stress scale and anxiety state were also evaluated. Saliva samples were collected at awakening, 30 min, 60 min, and 12 hr post awakening after 6-days’ rest.

Results:

Forty-six percent of tennis players presented Disordered Eating attitudes (DE) (n = 12) with a lower body mass index, and higher state anxiety as compared with the group without DE. No differences in the Perceived Stress Scale scores were noted. Mean energy intake, protein and carbohydrates intakes were lower (p > .05) in the DE group as compared with the group without DE. Although in both groups, sAA concentrations presented a decrease in the first 30 min after awakening, and then progressively rose toward the afternoon, DE players exhibited reduced concentrations of the sAA with a decrease in its overall day secretion. Moreover, they showed a higher overall day secretion of salivary cortisol and a higher Cortisol Awakening Response.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that the activity of the sympathetic nervous system is impaired whereas the cortisol awakening response is enhanced. The long-term consequences of these modifications on health remain to be elucidated.

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Lori M. Cox, Christopher D. Lantz and Jerry L. Mayhew

Early identification of potentially harmful eating patterns is critical in the effective remediation of such behaviors. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the degree lo which various factors including gender, family history, and athletic status predict disordered eating behavior; social physique anxiety and percent body fat were added as potential predictor variables. The eating behaviors of student-athletes and nonathlete students were also compared. One hundred eighty undergraduate students (males = 49, females =131) provided demographic information and completed the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS). Stepwise multiple-regression analysis indicated that social physique anxiety, gender, and body fat (%Fat) combined to predict 34% of disordered eating behaviors: EAT = 0.921 SPA - 1.05 %Fat + 10.95 Gender (1 = M. 2 = F) - 17.82 (R 2 = .34, SE = 4.68). A one-way ANOVA comparing ihe eating behaviors of athletes and nonathletes revealed no significant difference between these groups.

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Edith Filaire, Patrick Treuvelot and Hechmi Toumi

This study explores the prevalence of disordered eating attitudes in a sample of male first-year university students engaged in a physical education program and examines the relationships between emotional intelligence, coping, and emotional eating in relation to disordered-eating (DE) attitudes. A total of 140 students completed the following questionnaires: the Eating Attitudes Test, the Bar-On Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire, the Coping Inventory Stress Scale, and the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire. The number of participants represented 80% of the male students registered in this discipline at the authors’ university. Twenty percent of students presented DE attitudes even though they were of normal weight. The Bar-On EQ-I results indicated that students with DE attitudes had lower levels of emotional intelligence (EI) scores than students without DE attitudes (control group). Moreover, they scored higher than the control group on coping styles such as avoidance-oriented coping, emotion-oriented coping, and emotional eating. The DE group presented a positive correlation between DE attitudes symptoms and both avoidance- and emotion-oriented coping but a negative correlation between DE attitudes and task-oriented coping. There was also a significant negative correlation between DE attitudes and EI score. Another result from this group indicated an association between EI score and emotional-eating score (p < .05, r = –.44) and also a positive correlation between emotion-oriented coping and emotional eating (p < .01, r = .47). The findings highlight future research potential on the role of emotions and EI in DE symptoms, which may be beneficial in the context of collaborative care management intervention.

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Mary Yannakoulia, Antonios Keramopoulos and Antonia-Leda Matalas

The aim of the study was to evaluate the combined effect of several environmental factors on bone mineral density (BMD) in a group of highly active young women. Body composition, total body and regional (arms, legs and trunk) BMD, dietary intake, menstrual status, training habits, and eating attitudes were assessed in 37 professional dance students, aged 18 to 26 years. Dancers had higher BMD values compared to age- and weight-matched reference population (mean total body BMD: 1.185 g/cm2, 9% higher than reference values). No differences were detected between currently eumenorrheic and noneumenorrheic dancers; subjects who encountered menstrual problems during adolescence had significantly lower BMD values compared to counterparts who did not. Regarding dietary intake, dancers in the highest quartile of calcium intake (1323 ±113 mg/d) exhibited significantly higher total BMD values than subjects in the other 3 quartiles (p = .04). A moderate inverse relationship was found between protein intake and total BMD, after controlling for energy and calcium intake (r = -0.37). Fat-free soft mass was the only significant predictor of total BMD, explaining 20% of the variance. High levels of calcium intake were associated with high total BMD values. These results confirm the beneficial role of long-term and intensive physical activity on BMD and further suggest that dancers are not at a greater risk compared to the general population for developing osteoporosis, despite their menstrual and eating problems.

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Arlette C. Perry, Linda S. Crane, Brooks Applegate, Sylvia Marquez-Sterling, Joseph F. Signorile and Paul C. Miller

The present study showed that amenorrheic athletes (AAs) scored higher on the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) (p < .05) than eumenorrheic athletes (EAs), indicating more aberrant eating patterns in the first group. Scores on the EAT were inversely correlated with fat intake (p < .05), simple carbohydrate intake (p < .01), and percentage saturation of iron (p < .05) and were positively correlated with total iron binding capacity (p < .01) for the total sample. Physiological assessment of athletes revealed that there were no significant differences between groups in serum lipoproteins, with both EAs and AAs having serum lipid profiles indicative of low cardiovascular risk. Furthermore, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol was the only lipoprotein significantly and positively correlated with serum estradiol levels for the entire sample (p = .01). The present study was in agreement with previous work showing that scores on the EAT represent a primary difference between EAs and AAs; the present study was somewhat different than previous work in that serum lipoproteins were not significantly related to menstrual status.

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Lenka, H. Shriver, Gena Wollenberg and Gail E. Gates

The number of females participating in college sports in the U.S. has increased in last two decades. While female college athletes might be at a high risk, research examining disordered eating in this population is limited and difficult to summarize due to differences in methodologies. Factors contributing to disordered eating in female college athletes are not well established, but emotional regulation may be a potential correlate. The main purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of disordered eating and explore potential differences between weight-sensitive and less weight-sensitive sports in a sample of female college athletes. The second purpose was to examine emotional regulation, body dissatisfaction, sport type, a family history of eating disorder, and BMI as potential predictors of disordered eating. The Eating Attitudes Test-26 and the Minnesota Eating Behavior Survey were used to estimate disordered eating prevalence in a sample of 151 athletes. Emotion regulation was assessed by the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale. The prevalence of disordered eating was 6.6% and 10.6%, respectively, with no differences by sport type. The multiple regression model explained 11% of the EAT-26 variance, F(5, 150) = 3.74, p < .01. Greater emotional regulation difficulties (β = .174, t = 2.191, p = .03) and body dissatisfaction (β = .276, t = 2.878, p = .005) were significant predictors of disordered eating. Further examination of emotional regulation and body dissatisfaction in relation to disordered eating in female college athletes is warranted.