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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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Holly Wethington, Claudia Flowers, Michael Turner and Rita DiGioacchino DeBate

Focusing on female triathletes, this study was an exploration of behaviors and attitudes that may lead to disordered eating among female triathletes. One hundred and eighty-eight female triathletes residing in the U.S. completed an Internet-based questionnaire comprised of measures for disordered eating, body size distortion and dissatisfaction, and food consumption. Statistically significant relationships were identified regarding Preoccupation with Weight and Food Consumption (r= 0.52, p=0.005), Oral Control and Food Consumption (r= 0.32, p=0.04), and Food Restriction and Food Consumption (r= −0.30, p=0.04). Body Size Distortion was also significantly correlated to Food Consumption (r= −0.19, p=0.01), especially among the Sprint distance competitors (r= −0.21, p=0.02). Based upon the findings we suggest food restriction, body size distortion, and disordered eating attitudes are apparent among female triathletes, especially those who are club level athletes and short distance competitors.

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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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Kayla W. Carrigan, Trent A. Petrie and Carlin M. Anderson

Female athletes have been identified as a subpopulation at heightened risk for disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, particularly due to weight pressures in their environment. Using a sample of 414 NCAA Division-I female collegiate athletes, we examined the relations of required team weigh-ins or self-weighing on disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. Through a series of multivariate analyses, we determined that team weighs were significantly unrelated to all outcome measures. Self-weighing, however, differentiated the athletes’ scores on internalization, body satisfaction, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology; athletes who self-weighed three or more times a week reported significantly higher levels of pathology across all measures. Mandatory team-conducted weigh-ins appear to not be a salient pressure for female gymnasts and swimmer/divers, although the frequency of their self-weighing may represent a level of self-monitoring that is associated with greater endorsement of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors.

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Patricia Marten DiBartolo and Carey Shaffer

This study examines eating attitudes, body satisfaction, reasons for exercise, and general psychological well-being in female nonathletes and Division III college athletes. A total of 115 nonathletes and 94 athletes completed measures of eating attitudes, body satisfaction, trait affect, reasons for exercise, and perceived self-competence. On the majority of measures, the scores of athletes revealed less eating disorder symptomatology and more healthy psychological functioning than the scores of nonathletes. These results indicate that female athletic involvement can be associated with healthy eating and psychological functioning. Future research should give consideration to which environments may foster healthy sports participation.

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Justine J. Reel and Diane L. Gill

College cheerleaders (73 females and 51 males) participated in the current study on eating disorders and weight-related concerns within cheerleading. The participants completed the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS), and CHEER, a measure of weight-related stressors within cheerleading. Significant gender differences were identified through a one-way MANOVA with these measures. As expected, female cheerleaders reported more weight-related concerns and had higher scores on SPAS, EDI Drive for Thinness and Body Dissatisfaction than did male cheerleaders. Both males and females reported weight-related concerns, although the actual stressors were different. Based upon these data, we suggest that males, as well as females, face unique pressures in cheerleading related to body weight.

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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.