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Paula J. Ziegler, Srimathi Kannan, Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Ambika Krishnakumar, Sara E. Taksali and Judith A. Nelson

The objectives of the study were to determine the nutrient intakes and to examine body image perceptions and weight concerns of elite female US international synchronized skaters. One hundred and twenty-three skaters (mean age = 17.0 ± 2.1 y; BMI = 21.32 ± 2.13) representing six US international synchronized skating teams from the 1998 competitive season participated in the study. Nutrient intakes were determined from 3-d dietary records. Body image perceptions were assessed from responses to silhouette drawings. Skaters completed an emotional and physical self-appraisal. Weight concerns were assessed using a self-administered validated weight history questionnaire. The reported energy intake was 26 kcal/kg. The contribution of carbohydrate, fat, and protein to total energy intake was 62%, 23%, and 15% for younger (14-18 y) and 62%, 24%, and 14%, respectively, for the older (19-30 y) skaters. Significant differences (P < 0.001) were observed between perceived ideal and current body shapes. The greater the dissatisfaction with physical and emotional self, the larger the discrepancy between current versus desired body shape. Results suggest that sports nutritionists should not only assess nutrition factors but also examine psychosocial and emotional correlates related to body image and weight concerns of synchronized skaters.

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Justine J. Reel, Robert A. Bucciere and Sonya SooHoo

Individuals with intellectual disabilities are largely marginalized within society and are understudied as a group (Reel & Bucciere, 2011). Although there have been numerous body image studies with able-bodied athletes, this study represents the first attempt to explore body image of male and female Special Olympics athletes. Athletes (N = 103) were 18–61 years of age (M = 33.34; SD = 11.20) and represented mild to moderate severity for diagnosable intellectual disabilities. Height and weight were measured to determine body mass index (BMI). Body image was verbally assessed via individual interviews using the Figure Ratings Scale and open-ended items. Female athletes had a significantly higher BMI (M = 33.02, SD = 9.28) than male athletes (M = 28.24, SD = 7.38). The BMI means for the female and male athletes met the classifications for obese and overweight, respectively. There was also a negative relationship between body satisfaction and BMI in the overall sample (r = -.46), male athletes only (r = -.51), and female athletes only (r = -.38, indicating that higher BMI was associated with lower body satisfaction. Descriptive statistics revealed that 51% of female athletes and 37% of male athletes desired a thinner physique, whereas 20% of female athletes and 29.6% of male athletes wanted to be larger. There were no significant gender differences in levels of overall body dissatisfaction in this study.

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Mark T. Suffolk

The sport of competitive bodybuilding is strongly associated with muscle dysmorphia, a body-image-related psychological disorder. This theoretical article draws on existing concepts, namely stereotyping, prejudice, and positive deviance in sport, to explicate the notion that competitive bodybuilding and body-image disturbance may be mistakenly conflated. The perspective offered here goes beyond the countercultural physique to argue that a negative social perception of competitive bodybuilders obscures the pragmatic necessity to develop a hypermesomorphic physique. Competitive bodybuilders (CBs) and athletes in mainstream competitive sport exhibit congruent psychobehavioral tendencies. In a competitive-sport context, behavior among CBs perceived as pathological may primarily represent a response to the ideological sporting ethic of “win at all costs,” not extreme body-image disturbance. Analyzing the psychobehavioral characteristics of CBs within a sporting rather than a pathological framework, allows for a contextual assessment of behaviors to then determine the clinical significance relative to the research population under investigation.

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Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Paula J. Ziegler and Judy A. Nelson

The objectives of this study were to determine food preferences, body image perceptions, dieting behaviors, and nutrient intakes of elite male and female figure skaters. Male (n = 23) and female (n = 26) figure skaters completed a food preference checklist, a questionnaire examining their demographics, dieting behaviors and body image perceptions, and 3-d food records. Male skaters had a higher preference (score ≥ 6) for grains, fruit, meat, dairy, fats, and sweets. Female skaters had higher preference for grains and fruits. Of the female skaters, 30% considered themselves overweight and indicated a preference for a thinner body contour. Both male and female skaters expressed a preference for leaner body contours for members of the opposite gender. Total energy intake, total fat (females) and dietary fiber were below the dietary recommendations. Vitamin E, vitamin D, folate (females), pantothenic acid (females), calcium (females), magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus (females) were less than two-thirds of the dietary recommendations. Macronutrient intake of male skaters was associated with preferences for the grain group, although no association was observed among female skaters. Results suggest that these behaviors and attitudes need to be assessed and addressed among figure skaters, given their impact on dietary intakes and overall well-being.

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Ariel J. Dimler, Kimberley McFadden and Tara-Leigh F. McHugh

building strength and flexibility through sensual dance movement ( Donaghue, Kurz, & Whitehead, 2011 ). The increased popularity and promotion of such exercise coincide with the increased emphasis on how to develop positive body image, especially among those who already possess, or may be at risk of

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Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel

The number of studies researching eating disorders and body image in sport has increased exponentially over several decades. This growing body of literature has positioned researchers to estimate the prevalence of eating disorder symptomatology in male and female athletes and examine the

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Mary E. Pritchard and Gregory S. Wilson

Recent research has noted an increase in body image dissatisfaction among adolescents and adults. One group that seems to be particularly at risk for body image dissatisfaction is female athletes. However, few studies have examined what factors might influence body image dissatisfaction in female athletes. The present study surveyed 146 female high school athletes to determine which factors influence their body image. We found that body image related to several physical and psychological health variables, including physical ailments, negative health habits, stress, fatigue, anger, tension, depression, confusion, negative affect, and use of ineffective coping styles. Finally, several parental health habits related to female body image including maternal smoking and maternal and paternal nutrition habits. In sum, coaches and parents need to emphasize healthy habits, as well as effective coping strategies when dealing with female athletes. In addition, parents must realize the impact they have on their daughter’s body image.

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Sony SooHoo, Justine J. Reel and Patricia F. Pearce

Adolescent cheerleaders are seen as American icons, but psychosocial factors can predispose them to body image disturbances and disordered eating. Understanding body image development is critical to promoting healthy body image, as well as preventing disordered eating and its related health risks. The purpose of this study was to explore the development of body image among adolescent female cheerleaders. A grounded theory approach was used to conduct 26 interviews with 14 adolescent female cheerleaders (M = 14.07, SD = 2.40) who cheered at All-star gyms, junior high, or high schools to explore their body image experiences. The categories included body awareness (i.e., physical changes, body comparison), cheerleading environment (i.e., cheerleading image, position body type, uniform), and social factors (i.e., parental influences, comments from others). These categories influenced body image through the central category, developing attitude, demonstrating the complexity of body image construction among adolescent females.

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Nick Galli, Justine J. Reel, Hester Henderson and Nicole Detling

The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to explore the body image of athletes with physical disabilities, and (b) to understand how sport influences body image among these athletes. We interviewed 20 male and female athletes (M age = 34.25, SD = 8.49) from a variety of sports regarding their body image and the role of sport in influencing body image. A thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used to generate six themes: (a) personal significance of injury and disability, (b) noncentrality of the body and disability, (c) positive influence of sport on body esteem, (d) social factors influencing body-related emotions and perceptions, (e) body critiques and preferences, and (f) positive thoughts and emotions about the body. Sport seemed to be an important vehicle for experiencing body-related pride, and athletes expressed an intimate connection with the body parts that enabled them to physically compete.

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A.P. (Karin) de Bruin and Raôul R.D. Oudejans

Recent studies have shown that a contextual body image approach seems to be a promising framework for a better understanding of athletes’ disordered eating ( Anderson, Reilly, Gorrell, & Anderson, 2016 ; De Bruin, Oudejans, Bakker, & Woertman, 2011 ; Kong & Harris, 2015 ; Krentz & Warschburger