( Rivera, Alex, Nehrenz, & Fields, 2012 ), as well as disordered eating that can be an outgrowth of sport-specific performance demands ( Reel, Petrie, SooHoo, & Anderson, 2013 ). For example, 55%–90% of dancers reported at least one injury over the course of their career ( Ojofeitimi & Bronner, 2011 ) and
Justine J. Reel, Leslie Podlog, Lindsey Hamilton, Lindsey Greviskes, Dana K. Voelker and Cara Gray
Katherine A. Beals and Amanda K. Hill
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of disordered eating (DE), menstrual dysfunction (MD), and low bone mineral density (BMD) among US collegiate athletes (n = 112) representing 7 different sports (diving, swimming, x-country, track, tennis, field hockey, and softball) and determine differences in prevalence existed between athletes participating in lean-build (LB) and non-lean build (NLB) sports. DE and MD were assessed by a health, weight, dieting, and menstrual history questionnaire. Spinal BMD was determined via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Twenty-eight athletes met the criteria for DE, twenty-nine for MD, and two athletes had low BMDs (using a Z score below −2.0). Ten athletes met the criteria for two disorders (one with disordered eating and low BMD and nine with disordered eating and menstrual dysfunction), while only one athlete met the criteria for all three disorders. Using a Z score below −1.0, two additional athletes met the criteria for all three disorders and three more athletes met the criteria for a combination of two disorders. With the exception of MD, which was significantly more prevalent among LB vs. NLB sports (P = 0.053), there were no differences between the groups in the prevalence of individual disorders or combinations of disorders. These data indicate that the combined prevalence of DE, MD, and low BMD among collegiate athletes is small; however, a significant number suffer from individual disorders of the Triad.
Siobhain McArdle and Phil Moore
The aim of this pilot study was to explore disordered eating (DE) literacy in male and female athletes and to examine whether any gender differences were present. A related aim was to examine the moderating effect of gender on the relationship between indices of DE literacy and attitudes toward help-seeking for DE. A nonclinical sample of 133 (37% male) athletes from a variety of sports and competitive levels were recruited to complete an online questionnaire addressing a range of topics linked to DE literacy. Chi-square analysis indicated no significant gender differences on indicators of DE literacy. Findings from the survey revealed a number of beliefs conducive to low or inappropriate help-seeking for DE. The results highlight the importance of exploring DE literacy in athletes to develop more targeted interventions for this specific population.
Pooja Somasundaram and Alexandra M. Burgess
disordered eating symptomology ( Coelho, Soares, & Ribeiro, 2010 ). Female Athlete Triad, which includes disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis, can lead to significant long term health consequences such as hypertension, low bone mineral density, electrocardiographic abnormalities, and sometimes
Jennifer E. Carter and Nancy A. Rudd
Sports have received widespread attention for the risk of disordered eating, but prevalence rates among athletes have varied from one to 62 percent across studies (Beals, 2004). One explanation for this discrepancy has been the tendency for previous studies to select “at-risk” sports for examination. The current study extends prior inquiry by expanding the sample to the entire student-athlete group at Ohio State University. Approximately 800 varsity student-athletes at this large Division I university completed the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Q-EDD; Mintz, O’Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997) in 2001 and 2002, allowing gender and type of sport comparisons. The purposes of the study were to identify at-risk athletes as part of a screening process designed for eating disorder prevention, and to continue to refine the assessment of disordered eating in athletes. Not surprisingly, results showed that subclinical eating problems were more prevalent than clinical eating disorders in athletes, with 19 percent of female athletes and 12 percent of male athletes reporting eating disorder symptoms in year one, and 17 percent of female athletes and nine percent of male athletes in year two. Because the Q-EDD does not fully capture male body image problems, in 2002 questions were added to the Q-EDD that assessed preoccupation with muscularity, and preliminary Endings showed that one percent of male athletes fit a diagnosis of Muscle Dysmorphia. For both years, athletes from lean sports reported significantly more eating disorder symptoms than did athletes from nonlean sports. Specific policies employed by this university and prevention strategies will be discussed.
Jessica H. Doughty and Heather A. Hausenblas
It is commonly believed that gymnasts are at risk for eating disorders. However, research examining whether gymnasts are a high-risk population for eating pathologies is equivocal. The purpose of our study was to examine disordered eating among Division I female gymnasts using a longitudinal design with validated eating disorder measures. Participants (n = 72) completed the Drive for Thinness, Body Dissatisfaction and Perfectionism subscales of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (Garner, 1991), and the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (Martin et al., 1997), twice during their competitive season (i.e., October and March). There were no significant time differences for the eating disorder subscales, indicating that gymnasts’ perfectionism, body dissatisfaction, and anorexic tendencies may be stable characteristics that do not change across a competitive season. Implications of these results and future research directions are discussed.
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.
Anna Melin, Monica Klungland Torstveit, Louise Burke, Saul Marks and Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen
Disordered eating behavior (DE) and eating disorders (EDs) are of great concern because of their associations with physical and mental health risks and, in the case of athletes, impaired performance. The syndrome originally known as the Female Athlete Triad, which focused on the interaction of energy availability, reproductive function, and bone health in female athletes, has recently been expanded to recognize that Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) has a broader range of negative effects on body systems with functional impairments in both male and female athletes. Athletes in leanness-demanding sports have an increased risk for RED-S and for developing EDs/DE. Special risk factors in aquatic sports related to weight and body composition management include the wearing of skimpy and tight-fitting bathing suits, and in the case of diving and synchronized swimming, the involvement of subjective judgments of performance. The reported prevalence of DE and EDs in athletic populations, including athletes from aquatic sports, ranges from 18 to 45% in female athletes and from 0 to 28% in male athletes. To prevent EDs, aquatic athletes should practice healthy eating behavior at all periods of development pathway, and coaches and members of the athletes’ health care team should be able to recognize early symptoms indicating risk for energy deficiency, DE, and EDs. Coaches and leaders must accept that DE/EDs can be a problem in aquatic disciplines and that openness regarding this challenge is important.
Hannah Cooper and Stacy Winter
Disordered eating is a psychological ailment that befalls many athletes and can persist into retirement. Links have been established between disordered eating and societal and sport-specific pressures; however, little research has focused on the perspective of retired athletes in a time-based sport. The purpose of the current research was to explore the conceptualization of disordered eating in relation to swimming participation, how retirement affects eating patterns, and ways to mitigate disordered eating. Following IPA methodological guidelines, a homogeneous sample of retired swimmers (N = 6) was chosen for semistructured, participant-driven interviews determined by scores on a disordered-eating questionnaire. Three superordinate themes were revealed: (1) pressures unique to swimming, (2) transition to eating pattern awareness, and (3) maintaining ideal eating patterns in retirement. The results revealed a combination of novel findings and expansion of previous data on disordered eating. Suggestions for applications of current findings and for future research are also discussed.
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.