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: Weight-control behaviour is commonly observed in a wide range of elite sports, especially leanness sports, where control over body weight is crucial for high peak performance. Nonetheless, there is only a fine line between purely functional behaviour and clinically relevant eating disorders. Especially the rapid form of weight manipulation seems to foster later eating disorders. So far, most studies have focussed on adult athletes and concentrated on manifest eating disorders. In contrast, our review concentrates on young athletes and weight-control behaviour as a risk factor for eating disorders. An electronic search according to PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) Statement was performed using Pubmed, PsychInfo and Spolit. The following search terms were used: weight-control, weight-control behaviour, weight gain, weight loss, pathogenic weight-control behaviour and weight-concerns, each of them combined with elite athlete, young elite athlete, adolescent elite athlete and elite sports. Overall, data are inconsistent. In general, athletes do not seem to be at a higher risk for pathogenic weight concerns and weight-control behaviour. It does seem to be more prevalent in leanness sports, though. There is evidence for pathogenic weight-control behaviour in both genders; male athletes mostly trying to gain weight whereas females emphasise weight reduction. There is not enough data to make predictions about connections with age of onset. Young elite athletes do show weight-control behaviour with varying degrees of frequency and severity. In particular, leanness sports seem to be a risk factor for weight manipulation. Further research is needed for more details and possible connections.Journal of Eating Disorders 01/2013; 1(1).
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ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to analyze the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire-R18 (TFEQ-SP), as well as determine its validity by evaluating the relationship of the TFEQ-SP with different parameters related to body mass index, weight perception, perception of physical fitness, self-esteem, and food intake, as well as with weight control-related variables. A total of 281 participants (aged 18.38 ± 6.31) were studied. The factor analysis yielded three factors: cognitive restraint (CR), uncontrolled eating (UE), and emotional eating (EE). The internal consistency of the TFEQSP was determined by means of Cronbach’s α coefficient, with values ranging between 0.75 and 0.87. Higher scores on CR were found in women (p < 0.5), overweight/obese participants (p < 0.001), participants with lower self-esteem (p < 0.05), participants who overestimated their weight (p < 0.001), participants who weighed themselves frequently (p < 0.001) and those who were about to go on a diet (p < 0.001). Higher EE scores were found in participants with lower self-esteem scores (p < 0.05), among participants with a poorer perception of their physical fitness (p < 0.01) and when participants were about to diet (p < 0.05). Higher scores on UE were observed in case of poorer perception of physical fitness (p < 0.05). The validation study of the TFEQ-SP meets the requirements for measuring the three different facets of eating behavior: CR, UE, and EE.Nutrients 12/2014; 6:5619-5635. · 3.15 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.