Pathogenic weight‐control methods and self‐reported eating disorders in female elite athletes and controls
ABSTRACT To determine the use of pathogenic weight-control methods and prevalence of self-reported eating disorders (ED) among female elite athletes and non-athletic controls, the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) and a self-developed questionnaire were administered to the total population of Norwegian female elite athletes (n=603) and age- and home community-matched controls (n=522). The response rate in both athletes and controls was 86%; 97% of the athletes and 90% of the controls had body mass index (BMI) values within or below the optimal level (20–25). Athletes had a significantly lower mean BMI 20.8 (95% confidence interval (CI), 20.7–20.9) than controls 21.5 (95% CI 21.3–21.7). A similar fraction of the athletes (31%) and controls (27%) were dieting. Most athletes dieted to enhance performance (73%); most controls dieted to improve appearance (83%). Significantly more athletes (11%) than controls (7%) used pathogenic weight-control methods. Athletes competing in aesthetic and endurance sports were the leanest groups, and athletes competing in aesthetics, endurance- and weight-dependent sports most frequently reported the use of the more severe pathogenic weight-control methods. A similar fraction of athletes (22%) and controls (26%) were classified as being at risk of developing ED based on the subscale scores of the EDI. However, a higher fraction of athletes in aesthetics-, endurance-, and weight-dependent sports than athletes in technical sports, ballgames, power sports and non-athletic controls were classified as being at risk of developing ED. In contrast to previous reports, our results demonstrated that a number of athletes also competing in sports where the participants are considered less weight-conscious were using pathogenic weight-control methods (technical 10% and ballgames 8%). A similar percentage of athletes (12%) and controls (11%) actually reported having an ED.
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ABSTRACT: The general purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and symptoms of eating disorders (ED) for 412 high school, university, and elite male and female track and field athletes and higher- and lower-active nonathletes. Participants completed the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (Garner, 199110. Garner , D. M. 1991 . Eating Disorder Inventory-2. Professional manual , Odessa, FL : Psychological Assessment Resources . View all references) to assess ED symptoms and the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Mintz, O'Holloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 199723. Mintz , L. B. , O'Holloran , M. S. , Mulholland , A. M. and Schneider , P. A. 1997 . Questionnaire for eating disorder diagnosis: Reliability and validity of operationalizing DSM-IV into a self-report format . Journal of Counseling Psychology , 44 : 63 – 79 . [CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]View all references) to assess ED prevalence. We found that: (a) the women had greater Drive for Thinness and Body Dissatisfaction symptoms and a higher prevalence of ED than the men, (b) nonathletes reported greater Body Dissatisfaction symptoms than the athletes, (c) higher-active nonathletes had a higher prevalence of ED than the athletes and lower-active nonathletes, (d) the high school athletes had greater Ineffectiveness and Maturity Fears symptoms than the college and elite athletes, and e) there were no sport-group differences (i.e., middle/long distance, sprint, and field) for either ED symptoms or prevalence. Implications of these results and future directions are discussed.Journal of Applied Sport Psychology 08/2010; September 2004(Vol. 16):274-286. · 1.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Elite athletes often find themselves in a dilemma between maintaining optimal health to be successful and accepting health risks by pushing their physical limits. For elite adolescent athletes, this dilemma becomes a trilemma as they are also confronted with developmental challenges typical for adolescence. As many adolescents encounter different substances during this critical period of development, we analyzed prevalence of substance use to identify determinants related to these behaviors and to compare the prevalences with nonelite athletes. Our main data were drawn from the German Young Olympic Athletes' Lifestyle and Health Management Study (GOAL Study) including 1138 elite adolescent athletes (14-18 years). For comparisons, the data were combined with data from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS). Beside uni- and bivariate analyses, we conducted (conditional) logistic regression analyses. Eighty-six percent had consumed alcohol at least once. Binge drinking was performed by 24% during the last month. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with age, education, technical sports, lower squads, and attending boarding schools. Binge drinking was higher in males, older adolescents, and in technical sports. Smoking (3%) and marijuana use (3%) were less prevalent. Compared with nonelite athletes, they showed less risky behavior except for binge drinking. As we could identify risk groups, prevention and health promotion programs could be developed for this specific target group.Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 05/2012; · 3.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The increase in cases of eating disorders, particularly among sportsmen and women, has taken on worrying pro-portions over recent years. Male and female athletes com-peting in sports that require the careful control of body weight and link slight builds with high performance (as is often the case in artistic events) are a high risk group for developing eating disorders. The aim of this study was to present the various types of eating disorder and their fre-quency in the world of sport. It also focused on the root causes of eating disorders, the effect they have on the body and, moreover, measures for their prevention and treatment. In this regard, the experiences of five former competitive rhythmic gymnasts, with years of experience in the sport and medals to their names, were carefully stud-ied. An in-depth phenomenological study was conducted using open, semi-structured interviews in order to explore and understand the ways in which these individuals relat-ed to food and nutrition during their time as athletes. The results showed that the sportswomen taking part in the survey ran the risk of suffering from eating disorders for two main reasons. First, they displayed behaviours and personality traits common to people with eating disorders. And second, they submitted to the limitation or complete cessation of their food intake forced upon them by their environment (by coaches, parents, etc.).Journal Biology of Exercise 01/2012; 8(2):19-31.