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Self-reported eating disorder risk in lean and non-lean NCAA Collegiate Athletes

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Purpose The purpose of this present study was to examine gender differences in overall scores on the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college athletes in “lean” sports versus “non-lean” sports. Methods Using a self-report survey design, this study examined eating disorder risk in 121 NCAA college athletes, using the EAT-26. We expected that female athletes and athletes in “lean” sports would report higher scores on the EAT-26. Results There was a significant effect of sport type (lean vs. non-lean) on eating attitudes and behaviors, with those in non-lean sports reporting higher scores, on average, on the attitudinal measure and those in lean sports reporting, on average, higher scores on the behavioral measure. There was an interaction between gender and sport type (lean vs. non-lean) on eating attitudes and behaviors. Male athletes in non-lean sports had the highest overall average scores on the attitudinal portion of the EAT-26, and males in lean sports had the lowest scores. However, on the EAT-26 behavioral portion, men in lean sports reported significantly higher scores than did men in non-lean sports. Female athletes, regardless of sport type, reported similar scores on both the EAT- 26 attitudinal and behavioral sections. Conclusions Our findings suggest that athletes, regardless of sport type and gender, may be affected by eating disorder symptomatology. Gender differences may be smaller in athletic populations than previously thought. Sport type may affect whether disordered eating symptomatology presents as attitudinal or behavioral in nature, especially in male athletes. Level of evidence Descriptive study, Level V.
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Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity (2020) 25:745–750
Self-reported eating disorder risk inlean andnon-lean NCAA
Collegiate Athletes
AnnaHoldimanMcDonald1· MaryPritchard1 · MaryKateMcGuire2
Received: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published online: 2 April 2019
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
Purpose The purpose of this present study was to examine gender differences in overall scores on the Eating Attitudes Test
(EAT-26) in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college athletes in “lean” sports versus “non-lean” sports.
Methods Using a self-report survey design, this study examined eating disorder risk in 121 NCAA college athletes, using
the EAT-26. We expected that female athletes and athletes in “lean” sports would report higher scores on the EAT-26.
Results There was a significant effect of sport type (lean vs. non-lean) on eating attitudes and behaviors, with those in
non-lean sports reporting higher scores, on average, on the attitudinal measure and those in lean sports reporting, on aver-
age, higher scores on the behavioral measure. There was an interaction between gender and sport type (lean vs. non-lean)
on eating attitudes and behaviors. Male athletes in non-lean sports had the highest overall average scores on the attitudinal
portion of the EAT-26, and males in lean sports had the lowest scores. However, on the EAT-26 behavioral portion, men in
lean sports reported significantly higher scores than did men in non-lean sports. Female athletes, regardless of sport type,
reported similar scores on both the EAT- 26 attitudinal and behavioral sections.
Conclusions Our findings suggest that athletes, regardless of sport type and gender, may be affected by eating disorder
symptomatology. Gender differences may be smaller in athletic populations than previously thought. Sport type may affect
whether disordered eating symptomatology presents as attitudinal or behavioral in nature, especially in male athletes.
Level of evidence Descriptive study, Level V.
Keywords Athletes· Eating disorder risk· EAT-26· Lean· Non-lean
Eating disorder (ED) pathology has been acknowledged and
studied in athletes of all types. It has been suggested that
some eating disorders (as well as some eating disordered
attitudes and behaviors) are more prevalent in athletes than
in the general population [1, 2, but see 2]. Athletes are vul-
nerable to eating disorder pathology due to personal pressure
to achieve merit, while also facing institutional, social, team,
familial and financial pressure to perform [37]. These pres-
sures coupled with a rigorously competitive environment
can be a breeding ground for ED risk; and for these reasons,
treatment and recovery often look different for athletes than
for non-athletes [7].
Research suggests that between 1 and 62% of athletes
demonstrate risk for the development of an eating disor-
der [8]. The apparent inconsistencies amongst reported
numbers of athletes who present with disordered eating
risk may be the result of two factors: gender and sport
type (lean vs. non-lean). Athletes in sports that emphasize
leanness as a means to improve performance, have weight
classes, or are judged aesthetically are at increased risk for
the development of eating disorders [912]. Sports of this
nature are termed “lean” sports (e.g., distance running,
wrestling, gymnastics). Athletes in these “lean” sports
may engage in restrictive eating, skipping meals, fasting,
laxatives [3], diet pills, excessive exercise or other risky
behaviors considered part of disordered eating as a means
of enhancing performance [4]. However, sports termed as
“non-lean” (that is, sports in which leanness is not con-
sidered to provide a competitive advantage, do not have
* Mary Pritchard
1 Department ofPsychological Sciences, Boise State
University, 1910 University Dr., Boise, ID83725-1715, USA
2 College ofHealth Sciences, Boise State University, Boise,
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... The aetiology of EDs is multifactorial, being influenced by genetic, environmental and psychological factors but also factors specific to the practicing of sport (Sanchis, Balmaseda, & Hidalgo, 2022). These factors are particularly present in some disciplines involving endurance, those that have weight categories, or where low weight is a competitive advantage and aesthetics are important (Sanchis et al., 2022;Joy, Kussman, & Nattiv, 2016;McDonald, Pritchard, & McGuire, 2019). Athletes face a unique set of ED risk factors related to sport participation, such as performance pressure, and injury (Bratland-Sanda & Sundgot--Borgen, 2013;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2010). ...
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Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of disordered eating behaviors and attitudes in Slovenian male and female categorized athletes in relation to depressive symptoms and their alcohol consumption. Methods: The sample included 198 categorized athletes between 18 and 20 years of age. The Eating Attitude Test, the Center for Epidemologic Studies Depression Scale, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test were used to measure disordered eating behaviors, level of depression, and alcohol use, respectively. Results: Significant differences were found between female and male athletes, with female athletes reporting higher levels of disordered eating attitudes and depressive symptoms. 13.90% of athletes reported clinically significant eating disorder symptoms, 40% reported clinically significant depressive symptoms, and 10.50% reported risky alcohol use. Results also showed that athletes with higher eating disorder attitudes had higher depressive levels. Conclusion: These findings have important practical value and point to the importance of building a professional team trained to recognize mental health problems in athletes in order to provide appropriate help.
... Substantial research exists examining the influence of sport participation on athletes' body image and disordered eating behaviors (e.g., restrictive eating, compensatory exercise, binge eating). Past research has focused heavily on aesthetic-focused sports such as gymnastics, dance, figure skating, and wrestling (Krentz & Warschburger, 2011;Satterfield & Stutts, 2021;Van Durme et al., 2012), although recently, disordered behaviors in non-aesthetic-focused sports (i.e., basketball, soccer) have also been recorded at disturbingly high numbers (Gorrell et al., 2021;McDonald et al., 2020). This pattern suggests that although some sports may have more risk factors than others, sport as a whole is the common denominator. ...
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Body image concerns are a commonly cited reason for sport drop out. Researchers have begun to explore the influence of coaches on athletes’ body image. However, no measure exists to accurately and easily assess interventions or predict coaches’ body image supportive behaviors. Using Self-Efficacy Theory as a conceptual framework, the Coach Self-Efficacy Body Image Scale (CSEBIS) was developed. Content validity was judged by a panel of experts (N = 3) and through interviews with coaches (N = 4) across various sports and experience levels. Following initial item iteration, the CSEBIS was assessed with 682 coaches for reliability and validity. The 27 items across four subscales (knowledge, recognition, engagement, disengagement) showed good reliability (internal consistency, test-retest reliability, inter-item and item-total correlations), validity (convergent and discriminant validity, differentiation between known groups), factor structure, and model invariance across gender. Developing and initially validating the CSEBIS contributes to the existing literature by providing researchers with a novel scale to measure coaches’ confidence in identifying and addressing body image concerns among their athletes. Following further testing, this instrument may be used to assess the effectiveness of body image education and intervention efforts in sport, and the impact of coaches’ attitudes and behaviors on athletes’ body image.
... Many studies have focused on identifying risk factors for the development of eating disorders, specifically in collegiate athletes, 15,16 with findings highlighting factors such as performance pressure, bullying, and puberty. A study including 522 elite female athletes and 448 non-athlete controls showed that 18% of the athlete cohort met criteria for eating disorders after completing clinical examination, standardized questionnaires, and interviews. ...
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify whether adolescent females are more prone to postoperative BMI decreases when compared to other female age groups and all male age groups. We hypothesized postoperative BMI would decrease in adolescent females when compared to males and younger females. Methods: A list of patients aged 5 to 19 who underwent surgery from 2016-2020 was generated with the 50 most frequently used diagnosis codes of two orthopedic surgeons at an orthopaedic hospital. Patients were excluded if they had undergone multiple surgeries. BMI data was collected at baseline and 2-8 months post-surgery. Patients were divided in cohorts by age: school-age, pre-adolescent, and adolescent. Results: A total of 156 patients were analyzed with a mean BMI of 20.9. There were 24 school-aged, 72 pre-adolescent, and 60 adolescent patients. No statistically significant difference in BMI change was noted between groups as determined by one-way ANOVA (p=0.86). Conclusion: There were no significant postoperative changes in BMI between males and females over the time intervals measured, however, surgeons should still be attentive to this risk. Further research focused on subtle changes in eating habits is necessary to determine if eating disorders develop without BMI changes following surgical intervention.
... Our results are consistent with a study conducted by Torstveit et al. [29] showing that eating disorder prevalence is higher in lean sport athletes compared with non-lean sport athletes. In addition, eating disorder symptoms, including restrictive eating, have been shown to be higher in lean sport athletes compared with non-lean sport athletes [7,[36][37][38], which is in accordance with our findings. Lean sport athletes are reported to have higher desire and external social pressures to be thin, as well as higher rates of body dissatisfaction than non-lean sport athletes [37,38], which may explain these findings. ...
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of self-reported restrictive eating, current or past eating disorder, and menstrual dysfunction and their relationships with injuries. Furthermore, we aimed to compare these prevalences and associations between younger (aged 15–24) and older (aged 25–45) athletes, between elite and non-elite athletes, and between athletes competing in lean and non-lean sports. Data were collected using a web-based questionnaire. Participants were 846 female athletes representing 67 different sports. Results showed that 25%, 18%, and 32% of the athletes reported restrictive eating, eating disorders, and menstrual dysfunction, respectively. Higher rates of lean sport athletes compared with non-lean sport athletes reported these symptoms, while no differences were found between elite and non-elite athletes. Younger athletes reported higher rates of menstrual dysfunction and lower lifetime prevalence of eating disorders. Both restrictive eating (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.02–1.94) and eating disorders (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.31–2.73) were associated with injuries, while menstrual dysfunction was associated with more missed participation days compared with a regular menstrual cycle (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.05–3.07). Our findings indicate that eating disorder symptoms and menstrual dysfunction are common problems in athletes that should be managed properly as they are linked to injuries and missed training/competition days.
... Eating attitude was assessed using the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), which is a validated screening tool (29). The test is a screening tool for abnormal eating attitude in collegiate athletes (22,30) and the Japanese version was used in a previous study (31). The test comprises 26 questions, which are measured on a six-point Likert scale, ranging from 0 to 3 (3 ¼ always, 2 ¼ almost always, 1 ¼ often, and 0 ¼ seldom, hardly ever, or never). ...
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Objectives The aim of the present study was to identify the habitual dietary intake and stress fractures history among sport types and to determine the factors related to the risk of stress fractures among Japanese female collegiate athletes. Methods This study involved 589 Japanese female collegiate athletes. We investigated habitual dietary intake (food frequency questionnaire), eating attitude (EAT-26), demographics, training status, participation in sports events, history of injury in their career, and menstrual status using a self-reported questionnaire. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the risk factors associated with stress fractures. Results Thirty percent of the total participants had a history of stress fractures, although most participants had no risk of eating disorders. Most Japanese female collegiate athletes consumed less than the dietary reference intake levels for the general Japanese female population aged 18–29 years and the athletes’ dietary guideline for key bone-health nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. The multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed body mass index (BMI; OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.82–0.99) and energy intake (EI; OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.99–0.99) as significant and independent factors in the history of stress fractures among Japanese female collegiate athletes (p = 0.047 and p = 0.039, respectively). Conclusions Japanese female collegiate athletes failed to meet energy and nutrient recommendations; BMI and EI were significantly associated with stress fractures, a diet that includes an appropriate amount of energy is essential.
... Eating disorders are common in athletic populations, with recent estimates indicating as many as half of all athletes in aesthetic-focused sports, such as track and field, may present with features of disordered eating [11]. The gender gap in eating disorder risk may be narrower in athletic populations than in normal populations, with as many as 19% of male college athletes presenting with symptomology of a clinically relevant eating disorder [12,13]. A study of 111 male student athletes found previous food insecurity was associated with disordered eating behaviors such as preoccupation with food and hiding food in athletic locker rooms [14]. ...
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In the last decade, the number of full-time registered dietitians (RDs) serving intercollegiate athletes in the United States has more than quadrupled. However, many student athletes may be at increased risk of nutrition-related problems that impact physical and academic performance, which include inadequate macronutrients, inadequate micronutrients, and excessive macronutrients. This narrative review reports the current literature to date on nutrition-related knowledge in collegiate athletes and the impact of sports RDs on student athletes’ nutrition knowledge and behaviors. To date, only observational and quasi-experimental studies have been published with regard to changes in nutrition knowledge and behaviors in NCAA athletes. While these studies report benefits of the RD as a member of the interdisciplinary student athlete support team, more well-designed randomized control trials are warranted to determine benefits related to health outcomes and sport-specific performance outcomes.
The purpose of this study was to provide a systematic scoping review of the research focussing on student-athletes' mental health (MH). More specifically, we aimed to describe and synthesise: (a) the study and sample characteristics of the dual career (DC) and MH research literature, (b) the types of MH outcomes examined in student-athlete populations, (c) comparisons of student-athletes' MH in relation to other populations of interest, and (d) the variables associated with student-athletes' MH. Articles were collected from four databases: SPORTDiscus, PsycInfo, Scopus, and PubMed. In total, 159 studies spanning three decades met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were conducted within the North American collegiate context. The majority (62.5%) examined mental ill-health outcomes (e.g., disordered eating, depression, anxiety), 22.6% examined positive mental health outcomes (e.g., subjective well-being, psychological well-being), and 13.8% combined both perspectives. Most studies using non-student-athlete comparison groups found that student-athletes were at a similar or decreased risk for MH problems, although notable exceptions were identified. Finally, 49 distinct variables were associated with student-athletes' MH. Most variables related to generic or sport-specific factors, with only a limited number of studies examining DC-specific factors. Findings from our scoping review are critically discussed in view of the existing literature.
Boys and men with eating disorders remain a population that is under-recognized and underserved within both research and clinical contexts. It has been well documented that boys and men with eating disorders often exhibit distinct clinical presentations with regard to core cognitive (e.g., body image) and behavioral (e.g., pathological exercise) symptoms. Such differences, along with the greater likelihood of muscularity-oriented disordered eating among boys and men, emphasize the importance of understanding and recognizing unique factors of clinical relevance within this population. This book reviews the most up-to-date research findings on eating disorders among boys and men, with an emphasis on clinically salient information across multiple domains. Five sections are included, with the first focused on a historical overview and the unique nature and prevalence of specific forms of eating disorder symptoms and body image concerns in boys and men. The second section details population-specific considerations for the diagnosis and assessment of eating disorders, body image concerns, and muscle dysmorphia in boys and men. The third section identifies unique concerns regarding medical complications and care in this population, including medical complications of appearance and performance-enhancing substances. The fourth section reviews current findings and considerations for eating disorder prevention and intervention for boys and men. The fifth section of the book focuses on specific populations (e.g., sexual minorities, gender minorities) and addresses sociocultural factors of particular relevance for eating disorders in boys and men (e.g., racial and ethnic considerations, cross-cultural considerations). The book then concludes with a concise overview of key takeaways and a focused summary of current evidence gaps and unanswered questions, as well as directions for future research. Written by experts in the field, Eating Disorders in Boys and Men is a comprehensive guide to an under-reported topic. It is an excellent resource for primary care physicians, adolescent medicine physicians, pediatricians, psychologists, clinical social workers, and any other professional conducting research with or providing clinical care for boys and men with eating disorders. It is also an excellent resource for students, residents, fellows, and trainees across various disciplines.
This chapter considers the role of exercise and sport as it uniquely relates to eating disorders in boys and men. While engagement in sport and exercise has been reliably shown to protect against eating disorders, the performance-based pressures and physique-salient nature of these contexts may perpetuate disordered behaviors. This may be particularly pertinent for men, for whom exercise is central to the presentation of eating pathology, and among men athletes who often pursue weight restriction to gain a competitive advantage. Important considerations for the role of sport and exercise are warranted in the characterization, assessment, and intervention targets for eating disorders in men. However, the state of knowledge regarding the role of sport and exercise in eating pathology in boys and men relies almost exclusively on theoretical underpinnings and empirical evidence from samples of girls and women. As such, this chapter will discuss how exercise-specific assessment tools originate from clinical observations and empirical evidence in women, thereby not appropriately capturing the unique prevalence, characteristics, and consequences of eating disorders among men, including men athletes. Further, interventions aimed at prevention and treatment of co-occurring exercise and eating pathology have focused almost exclusively on elite women athletes, at the expense of adequate assessment and support of men. As such, this chapter will summarize and critically consider empirical gaps in prevalence rates, presentation, theoretical considerations, and interventions related to sport and exercise in the context of eating disorders in boys and men. Establishing these targets for improvement is critical to enhance knowledge of gender-specific needs and to improve clinical outcomes for this overlooked subset of the population.
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Purpose Orthorexia nervosa (ON) is a pattern of eating characterized by a pathological fixation on restricting foods based on their perceived health. Like many eating disorders, ON is thought to be more prevalent in athletes. This was a preliminary study to explore the prevalence of ON in University students to determine whether those who compete in University sports have higher orthorexic tendencies. Methods 116 male and female student athletes (age 21 ± 1 years) and 99 non-athlete controls (21 ± 2) from Universities in the North East of the UK completed the ORTO-15 test (≤ 40 being the cutoff) used to screen individuals for ON. Results ON symptoms were high in all students (76%); there was no difference in ORTO-15 scores between the athletes (36.6 ± 3.9) and non-athlete controls (37.2 ± 3.8; P = 0.279). There was a difference in scores between those who completed ≥ 10 h of exercise per week (36.65 ± 4.38) and those who do ≤ 10 h a week (37.38 ± 3.65) (P = 0.008; ES = 0.43). ORTO-15 scores were not higher in athletes competing in aesthetic and weight dependent sports (P > 0.05). Conclusions Being a student athlete for a University sports team did not affect ON prevalence; however, there appears to be a greater risk for students in general, and for athletes who undertake high volumes of exercise. Nonetheless, the high prevalence of ON symptoms may be attributed to flaws in the ORTO-15 questionnaire, and therefore, future studies should focus on developing a more valid method for ON diagnosis. Level of evidence III, case-control study.
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Purpose: Over the last few years, disordered eating in athletes has received increasing attention. According to several studies, athletes could be more vulnerable to disordered eating and some characteristics specific to the athletic community could be in favour of an increased risk of poor body image and disturbed eating habits in athletes. However, the literature is sparse and some methodological issues in studies have been pointed out. In this context, we aimed at determining the prevalence of disordered eating in French high-level athletes using clinical interviews of three different clinicians and identifying what are the factors associated with disordered eating in athletes. Methods: In France, all athletes registered on the French high-level list have to undergo a yearly evaluation. Data collected during the somatic assessment, the dietary consultation, and the psychological of the yearly evaluation were used. Multivariate analysis was performed for identification of factors associated with disordered eating. Results: Out of the 340 athletes included, 32.9% have been detected with a disordered eating. They were difficult to detect by clinicians, as usual criteria did not seem to be reliable for athletes. Competing in sports emphasizing leanness or low body weight was associated with disordered eating; however, gender was not. Conclusion: These results highlight the need for the development of specific screening tools for high-level athletes. Furthermore, the identification of factors associated with disordered eating could improve early detection and prevention program effectiveness.
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One of the most serious problems faced by researchers studying eating disorders is denial of illness in individuals with anorexia nervosa. Importantly, the term "denial" not only has different meanings, but in the case of anorexia nervosa its very nature still remains obscure. It is not even known whether it is deliberate or unintentional. Denial of illness in anorexic patients has serious consequences for evaluation of the reliability of information obtained from those individuals. Indeed, the most frequently used screening questionnaires, such as the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) (Garner & Garfinkel 1979) and the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) (Garner et al. 1983), may not reflect the psychological state of the subjects due to distorted responses. The objective of this review article is to elucidate, at least in part, the nature of denial of illness in anorexic individuals and, importantly, to present methods for direct or indirect measurement of this variable. The authors emphasize the detrimental effect of denial of illness on the quality of information obtained from the patients and the notorious unreliability of self-report data. The final part of the paper contains suggestions as to methods of bypassing the pitfalls associated with the influence of denial of illness on the results of studies involving anorexic individuals; for instance, it is recommended that one should build an honest and trustful relationship with the patient. Last but not least, the focus is placed on the potential of experimental psychology, which offers tools producing robust data, resistant to deliberate distortion by patients.
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Objetivo Comparar o comportamento de risco para transtornos alimentares (CRTA) entre não atletas e atletas de esportes estéticos, endurance ou com divisão de classe de peso. Métodos Participaram 187 adolescentes atletas e 200 sujeitos que compuseram o grupo de não atletas. Foi utilizado o Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) para avaliar o CRTA. Conduziu-se análise multivariada de covariância para comparar as subescalas do EAT-26 segundo o grupo e o sexo. Resultados Os resultados demonstraram que todos os escores das subescalas do EAT-26 foram maiores no sexo feminino quando comparado ao masculino, independente do grupo (p < 0,05). Ademais, as subescalas do EAT-26 foram semelhantes entre atletas e não atletas do sexo feminino, e no masculino evidenciaram-se maiores pontuações para as subescalas Dieta e Autocontrole Oral no grupo de não atletas quando comparado aos atletas (p < 0,05). Conclusão Os atletas não apresentaram maiores escores nas subescalas do EAT-26 quando comparados ao grupo de não atletas.
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Many men are as obsessed as women with counting calories. They are preoccupied with their weight, diet frequently, exercise excessively, and binge and purge. Some subgroups of men have eating disorder rates higher than those of the general male population. One subgroup consists of men who participate in competitive athletics. Although there is increasing awareness of eating disorders in men, male athletes may continue to elude identification and be difficult to treat. Their subculture promotes the use of unhealthy measures, such as restrictive eating, binging and purging, and consuming steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Professionals involved with the male athlete may not recognize these behaviors as problematic. In fact, they may not even look for the behaviors when dealing with men. Consequently, men’s eating disorders are missed and misdiagnosed. Male athletes face a combination of cultural, political, and financial pressures that is unique and represents an added risk factor that could have long-term irreversible effects. It is imperative that mental health professionals be aware of the unique-to-men risk factors associated with disordered eating. This article illustrates how eating disorders as well as body image dissatisfaction manifest themselves in male athletes, how difficult it can be to engage them in psychotherapy, and how clinicians can address these concerns.
Female athletes are at risk for eating disorders due to the experience and internalization of pressures regarding various aspects of their bodies, including weight and appearance. Evaluating programs that address psychosocial antecedents and may reduce female athletes’ risk is critical. We examined Bodies in Motion, a program based on cognitive dissonance and mindful self-compassion principles that integrates components of social media. Female athletes across nine NCAA athletic departments were assigned to Bodies in Motion (n = 57) or a wait-list control group (n = 40). Athletic department personnel were trained in the standardized program. Data were collected at three time-points – baseline, post-program, and three to four months later. Using Holm’s algorithm to control for multiple comparisons, repeated measures ANOVAs showed that, after program completion, Bodies in Motion athletes reported less thin-ideal internalization, as compared to the control athletes, over time. We also observed varying group trajectories in outcome responses upon visual inspection of profile plots. These findings serve as the basis for future research suggestions involving larger sample sizes and prolonged measurement of outcomes.
This study compared female intercollegiate athletes’ and non-athletes’ experiences of working towards recovery from an eating disorder. Participants (55 athletes, 99 non-athletes) responded to open-ended questions about factors that influenced their progress towards recovery. Both subgroups reported that Supportive Relationships and Cognitive/Emotional Shifts were most helpful. The third most frequent helpful factor for athletes was Sport Performance Concerns, for non-athletes it was Treatment. Athletes’ most frequent hindering factors were Negative Emotions/Cognitions, Sport Pressures, and Hurtful Modelling, while non-athletes reported Negative Emotions/Cognitions, Lack of Support, and Hurtful Modelling. Sport-specific factors were among the most common themes in athletes’ responses; therefore, athletes’ recovery experiences and treatment needs appear unique.
Using a cross-sectional, mixed-method design, this study examined the frequency and psychosocial correlates of eating disorder (ED) symptomatology among male figure skaters (n = 29; Mage = 18.45 years) and explored their perspectives on skating-related weight pressures. One participant (3.7%) scored within range of a clinical ED. Body mass index, sport-related weight pressures, and sport-related body dissatisfaction explained 30% of variance in ED symptomatology; only weight pressures were significant. Although most endorsed the positive influences of skating, a perceived body–performance link was their most frequent weight pressure. Coping with sport-related weight pressures should be addressed in applied sport psychology and ED prevention. 2017
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.