Eating disorders (EDs) and disordered-eating behaviors (DEBs), pose a high risk of morbidity and mortality, threatening physical health, emotional health, and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, among athletes, prevalence rates continue to increase. This document summarizes the challenges of establishing and navigating the multidisciplinary care needed to effectively treat EDs and DEBs among athletes. The benefits of timely and frequent communication within the multidisciplinary treatment team (MDTT) are emphasized and discussed. Authors advise who should be selected as members of the MDTT and suggest that all personnel, including athletic coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and certified fitness professionals be ED-informed and ED-sensitive. Vital components of care are noted including use of a variety of evidence-based psychotherapeutic modalities, interventions which target emotional regulation, and prioritize values based compassionate care. Authors caution that performance decrements and medical/physiological changes are not always easily observable in individuals with EDs and DEBs and therefore, attuned, consistent, and ongoing monitoring is needed. Consensus regarding previously established parameters for return to play and careful titration of physical activity throughout the ED recovery process are suggested as important for preserving health, preventing re-injury, or relapse and facilitating successful return to sport participation.
Jenny H. Conviser, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney, and Riley Nickols
Trent A. Petrie, Christy Greenleaf, Jennifer E. Carter, and Justine J. Reel
Few studies have been conducted examining male athletes and eating disorders, even though the sport environment may increase their risk. Thus, little information exists regarding the relationship of putative risk factors to eating disorders in this group. To address this issue, we examined the relationship of eating disorder classification to the risk factors of body image concerns (including drive for muscularity), negative affect, weight pressures, and disordered eating behaviors. Male college athletes (N= 199) from three different NCAA Division I universities participated. Only two athletes were classified with an eating disorder, though 33 (16.6%) and 164 (82.4%), respectively, were categorized as symptomatic and asymptomatic. Multivariate analyses revealed that eating disorder classification was unrelated to the majority of the risk factors, although the eating disorder group (i.e., clinical and symptomatic) did report greater fear of becoming fat, more weight pressures from TV and from magazines, and higher levels of stress than the asymptomatic athletes. In addition, the eating disorder group had higher scores on the Bulimia Test-Revised (Thelen, Mintz, & Vander Wal, 1996), which validated the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Mintz, O’Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997) as a measure of eating disorders with male athletes. These findings suggest that variables that have been supported as risk factors among women in general, and female athletes in particular, may not apply as strongly, or at all, to male athletes.
Fallon R. Mitchell, Sara Santarossa, and Sarah J. Woodruff
.1111/0022-4537.00119 Thompson , R. , & Sherman , R. ( 2014 ). Reflections on athletes and eating disorders . Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15 ( 6 ), 729 – 734 . doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.06.005 10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.06.005 Yan , G. , Pegoraro , A. , & Watanabe , N. ( 2018 ). Student
Pooja Somasundaram and Alexandra M. Burgess
word: Athletes and eating disorders . Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, 7 ( 3 ), 249 – 255 . doi:10.1080/10640269908249291 10.1080/10640269908249291 Powers , P.S. , & Johnson , C. ( 1996 ). Small victories: Prevention of eating disorders among athletes . Eating
Rachael E. Flatt and Craig Barr Taylor
factors for eating disorders: Application of risk terminology and suggestions for a general taxonomy . Psychological Bulletin, 130 ( 1 ), 19 – 65 . PubMed ID: 14717649 doi:10.1037/0033-2909.130.1.19 10.1037/0033-2909.130.1.19 Johnson , C. , Powers , P.S. , & Dick , R. ( 1999 ). Athletes and
Laura K. Fewell, Riley Nickols, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney, and Cheri A. Levinson
fitness group. Program staff members had expertise in treating both athletes and eating disorders (e.g., sport psychologist, sports dietitian, CSCS) and were sensitive to the athlete’s identity as an athlete as well as the challenges associated with having an ED in sport. Furthermore, athlete patients
Stewart A. Vella
Exercise, 35 , 55 – 64 . doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.11.008 10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.11.008 Thompson , R.A. , & Sherman , R. ( 2014 ). Reflections on athletes and eating disorders . Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15 , 729 – 734 . doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.06.005 10.1016/j