ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

The objectives of the study were to examine the prevalence of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), anorexia athletica (AA), and eating disorders not otherwise specified (ED-NOS) in both male and female Norwegian elite athletes and a representative sample from the general Norwegian population. A 2-step study including self-reported questionnaire and clinical interview. The entire population of Norwegian male and female elite athletes (n=1620) and controls (n=1696) was evaluated for the presence of eating disorders (EDs). Based on the results of the questionnaire, all athletes and controls classified as at risk for EDs, and a representative sample of athletes and controls classified as healthy participated in the clinical part of the study to determine the number of subjects meeting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria for EDs. More athletes (13.5%) than controls (4.6%; P<0.001) had subclinical or clinical EDs. The prevalence of EDs among male athletes was greater in antigravitation sports (22%) than in ball game (5%) and endurance sports (9%; P<0.05). The prevalence of EDs among female athletes competing in aesthetic sports (42%) was higher than that observed in endurance (24%), technical (17%), and ball game sports (16%). The prevalence of EDs is higher in athletes than in controls, higher in female athletes than in male athletes, and more common among those competing in leanness-dependent and weight-dependent sports than in other sports. A collaborative effort among coaches, athletic trainers, parents, physicians, and athletes is optimal for recognizing, preventing, and treating EDs in athletes.
... According to a systematic review that analysed 169 studies, the prevalence of disordered eating ranged from 0 to 27% in female athletes and from 0 to 21% in the general population [18]. Large-scale studies from Norway revealed EDs prevalence rates for female athletes of 42% in aesthetic sports, 24% in endurance sports, 17% in technical sports, and 16% for ball game sports [19]. Similarly, another study examined the ED prevalence rates of German female professional athletes and non-athletes. ...
... In previous literature, higher frequencies of risky eating behaviour in the general population compared with athletes have been confirmed by a number of previous studies [23,71,72]. However, other studies have consistently showed a higher prevalence among athletes compared with controls [19,59,73] or no statistically significant difference between athletes and controls [24,74,75]. Therefore, the research has shown contradictory findings with regard to the prevalence of EDs among female athletes and non-athletes. ...
... Prevalence rates for disordered eating vary depending on the type of sport [19]. In general, the literature associates athletes in endurance, aesthetic and weight class sports, where leanness or a specific weight are believed to favour sports performance, with a greater risk of developing eating disorders than the general population [7,19]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Eating disorders are associated with short and long-term consequences that can affect sports performance. The purposes of this study were to investigate whether female athletes, particularly gymnasts and footballers, exhibit more eating problems compared to female non-athletes, and to identify individual personality characteristics including anxiety, self-esteem, and perfectionism as possible contributors to eating disorder risk. In a sample of 120 participants, 80 adolescent female athletes were compared to a control condition of 40 non-athletes (mean age 17.2 ± 2.82). Participants responded to a questionnaire package to investigate the presence of disordered eating (SCOFF) and psychological variables in relation to disordered eating symptoms or eating disorder status. Subsequently, anthropometric measures were obtained individually by trained staff. There were statistically significant differences between conditions. One of the most important results was the score in SCOFF (Mann-Whitney = 604, p < 0.05; Cohen's d = 0.52, r = 0.25), being higher in control than in the gymnast condition. These results suggest that non-athlete female adolescents show more disturbed eating behaviours and thoughts than female adolescents from aesthetic sport modalities and, therefore, may have an enhanced risk of developing clinical eating disorders.
... In general, athletes are under high risk of eating disorders. When examined for eating disorders criteria in DSM-IV, 13.5% of athletes suffered from subclinical or clinical eating disorders [7]. The highest prevalence of eating disorders was observed among female athletes who performed aesthetic sports (42%), but male athletes also have higher rates of eating disorders than non-athlete peers [7]. ...
... When examined for eating disorders criteria in DSM-IV, 13.5% of athletes suffered from subclinical or clinical eating disorders [7]. The highest prevalence of eating disorders was observed among female athletes who performed aesthetic sports (42%), but male athletes also have higher rates of eating disorders than non-athlete peers [7]. Studies on ON among athletes are also growing in number. ...
... For example, anorexia nervosa prevalence of adolescent athletes is almost 3 times higher than controls (7.0% vs. 2.3%) [28]. The prevalence of eating disorders diagnosed according to DSM-IV is more than twofold higher in female athletes than controls (20% in athletes vs 9% in controls) and 16-fold higher in male athletes (8% in athletes vs 0.5% in controls) [7]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This study aims to evaluate and compare the scores of a self-reported measurement of orthorexia nervosa among Turkish people who engage in different levels of physical activity (sedentary individuals, recreational athletes and competitive athletes). Methods: Data for this study were collected through a self-administered online questionnaire between March and April 2020 in Turkey. The questionnaire consisted of two parts: personal information (sociodemographic and anthropometric information, training and dieting regime) and the ORTO-11 Scale. Only the items in the revised scale (ORTO-R) were used for analysis. Measurement invariance was tested and latent means were compared across different activity groups, sexes and levels of education. Results: Analysis was done with a total of 877 participants (514 sedentary, 271 recreationally active, and 91 competitive athletes). Mean age of participants was 29.12 ± 11.15. Sedentary people were less likely to follow a particular diet. Configural, metric and partial scalar invariance were proven across three groups of physical activity and the difference between latent means was found nonsignificant (competitive vs sedentary: CR = - 0.53, p = 0.592; competitive vs recreational: CR = 0.25, p = 0.724; sedentary vs. recreational: CR = - 1.35, p = 0.183). Configural, metric and full scalar invariance were proven across sexes and different levels of education, and difference between latent means was found nonsignificant (CR = - 1,11, p = 0.272; CR = - 0.53, p = 0.587, respectively). Conclusion: In conclusion, people who compete at sports events, exercise regularly at a recreational level, or lead a sedentary life have similar scores in ORTO-R. Also, females did not score higher than males. Level of evidence: Level III, case-control analytic study.
... To achieve the desired outcome, athletes more often go on a variety of diets in an attempt to lose weight [2,3]. Consequentially, athletes were shown to have a high relative weight variability, body dissatisfaction, and a higher frequency of eating disorders [1,4,5]. ...
... This is also reflected by inadequate nutrient intake, particularly with regard to carbohydrates [38,39]. Overall, the risk to experience any form of ED was increased in athletes when compared to non-athletic controls (13.5% vs. 4.6%) [5]. Particularly athletes engaging in aesthetic, leanness-focused, or weight-sensitive sports were at a higher risk to develop disordered eating patterns than athletes from sports where body weight or shape is secondary (e.g. ...
... Particularly athletes engaging in aesthetic, leanness-focused, or weight-sensitive sports were at a higher risk to develop disordered eating patterns than athletes from sports where body weight or shape is secondary (e.g. ball sports) [5,26,40]. This was also shown in a study conducted by Torstveit et al., which reported a higher prevalence of EDs in female athletes from leanness-focused sports (46.7%) in comparison to athletes from non-leannessfocused sports (19.8%) [41]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Low energy availability (LEA) represents a state in which the body does not have enough energy left to support all physiological functions needed to maintain optimal health. When compared to the normal population, athletes are particularly at risk to experience LEA and the reasons for this are manifold. LEA may result from altered dietary behaviours that are caused by body dissatisfaction, the belief that a lower body weight will result in greater performance, or social pressure to look a certain way. Pressure can also be experienced from the coach, teammates, and in this day and age through social media platforms. While LEA has been extensively described in females and female athletes have started fighting against the pressure to be thin using their social media platforms, evidence shows that male athletes are at risk as well. Besides those obvious reasons for LEA, athletes engaging in sports with high energy expenditure (e.g. rowing or cycling) can unintentionally experience LEA; particularly, when the athletes' caloric intake is not matched with exercise intensity. Whether unintentional or not, LEA may have detrimental consequences on health and performance, because both short-term and long-term LEA induces a variety of maladaptations such as endocrine alterations, suppression of the reproductive axis, mental disorders, thyroid suppression, and altered metabolic responses. Therefore, the aim of this review is to increase the understanding of LEA, including the role of an athlete's social environment and the performance effects related to LEA.
... Collegiate cheerleading is categorized as an aesthetic sport (Byrne & McLean, 2002;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004;Torres-McGehee et al., 2009). In aesthetic sports or activities (dancers, swimmers, color guard, and majorettes, cross country, diving, figure skating, gymnastics and modern dance), the prevalence of eating disorder (ED) risk ranges from 24%-73%, compared to 9% of the general population (Anderson & Petrie, 2012;Black, Larkin, Coster, Leverenz, & Abood, 2003;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004). ...
... Collegiate cheerleading is categorized as an aesthetic sport (Byrne & McLean, 2002;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004;Torres-McGehee et al., 2009). In aesthetic sports or activities (dancers, swimmers, color guard, and majorettes, cross country, diving, figure skating, gymnastics and modern dance), the prevalence of eating disorder (ED) risk ranges from 24%-73%, compared to 9% of the general population (Anderson & Petrie, 2012;Black, Larkin, Coster, Leverenz, & Abood, 2003;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004). Previously it was demonstrated that female athletes who competed in aesthetic sports had a greater risk for developing an ED compared to their male counterparts or the general public (Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004); however, more recent data suggests that in the athlete population, the difference between males and females regarding their risk for developing an ED was much smaller than previously thought (McDonald, Pritchard, & McGuire, 2019). ...
... In aesthetic sports or activities (dancers, swimmers, color guard, and majorettes, cross country, diving, figure skating, gymnastics and modern dance), the prevalence of eating disorder (ED) risk ranges from 24%-73%, compared to 9% of the general population (Anderson & Petrie, 2012;Black, Larkin, Coster, Leverenz, & Abood, 2003;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004). Previously it was demonstrated that female athletes who competed in aesthetic sports had a greater risk for developing an ED compared to their male counterparts or the general public (Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004); however, more recent data suggests that in the athlete population, the difference between males and females regarding their risk for developing an ED was much smaller than previously thought (McDonald, Pritchard, & McGuire, 2019). ...
... Early research by Black and Burckes-Miller (1988) postulated that, due to the unique pressures associated with sport participation (e.g., athletic performances, coaches' expectations, sporting environment, and subculture), athletes may be more prone to engage in disordered eating (DE) and unwise weight management techniques, which may lead to eating disorders (EDs). Nearly 15 years later, research by Sundgot-Borgen and Torstveit (2004) provided evidence supporting these hypotheses. In their large, well-conducted study among Norwegian elite athletes (n = 1,259) and controls (n = 1,203), they concluded that the prevalence of EDs was higher in elite athletes (13.5%) compared to controls (4.6%). ...
... Using the EAT-26, we found an 8.6% prevalence of DE in our sample of 498 sport lead rock climbers, which is similar to what is reported for other athletic groups. For example, in a large Norweigan cohort (n = 3,000), subclinical or clinical EDs were found, also using the EAT-26, in 13.5% of elite athletes compared to 4.6% of the non-athlete controls (p < 0.001) (Sundgot-Borgen and Torstveit, 2004). We acknowledge that the EAT-26 was originally intended to detect DE in the general population and therefore may not accurately represent DE prevalence in athletic populations (Pope et al., 2015). ...
... We acknowledge that the EAT-26 was originally intended to detect DE in the general population and therefore may not accurately represent DE prevalence in athletic populations (Pope et al., 2015). As such, and suggested by some researchers attempting to examine disordered eating behaviors in athletic populations (Beals and Manore, 1994;Smolack et al., 2000;Byrne and McLean, 2001;Sundgot-Borgen and Torstveit, 2004;Reinking and Alexander, 2005;Pope et al., 2015), clinical interviews and validated tools specifically designed for active populations are needed to obtain more accurate DE prevalence data, especially in male athletes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Disordered eating (DE) is characterized as a range of irregular eating patterns or behaviors, which may lead to pathological eating or a clinical eating disorder diagnosis. DE patterns are associated with a variety of negative health outcomes. The prevalence of DE is highest in female athletes who participate in aesthetic or weight dependent sports. Elite rock climbers tend to be strong, small and lean, but the prevalence of DE in rock climbers is unknown. The purpose of the present study was to assess DE prevalence in a large group of international rock climbers and to explore the relationship between sport rock climbing ability and DE. A web-based survey assessed both DE (Eating Attitudes Test-26) and climbing ability based on the International Rock Climbing Research Association's position statement on comparative grading scales. The survey was distributed to international climbing communities; 810 individuals attempted the survey; 604 completed all questions; 498 identified as sport lead climbers. The majority of sport lead climbers were lower grade/intermediate (57.8%), compared to advanced (30.7%) and elite/higher elite (11.4%), and male (76.9%). Forty-three sport lead climbers reported a score of 20 or above on the EAT-26 indicating an 8.6% prevalence of DE in this sample. Male climbers had a DE prevalence of 6.3% (24 of 383) and female climbers more than doubled that with 16.5% (19 of 115). Chi-square analysis revealed that DE was associated with climbing ability level [χ2 (2, n = 498, 8.076, p = 0.02)], and when analyzed by sex, only the female climbers had a significant relationship of DE with climbing ability [χ2 (2, n = 115, 15.640, p = 0.00)]. These findings suggest sport lead rock climbers are not immune to DE and that the risk is elevated in female climbers, particularly at the elite/high elite climbing ability level. Our research indicates further investigations are warranted to determine if and how disordered eating behaviors affect health and performance of adult rock climbers.
... Prevalence of subclinical AN (restricting subtype) in a sample of adolescent girls was 3.5%, 13.3% for weight concerns (restricting subtype), 3.8% for subclinical BN, and 10.8% for subclinical binge eating disorder (estimates for Quebec, Canada; Touchette et al., 2011). Furthermore, clinical and subclinical EDs are more prevalent in specific subpopulations such as professional musicians or athletes; however, type of sport needs to be taken into account (Kapsetaki & Easmon, 2019;Smolak, Murnen, & Ruble, 2000;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004). Work addiction seems to be perhaps the most prevalent behavioral addiction (with estimates ranging from 6.6% in Denmark to 20.6% in Hungary; Lichtenstein et al., 2019;Orosz et al., 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Work addiction (WA) has been previously linked to several diseases and disorders, but there is scarce literature on its association with eating disorders (EDs). Both WA and EDs share similar etiological factors (notably rigid perfection-ism) and clinical features. The aim of this study was to provide an initial overview of the literature on this potential comorbidity, and investigate the co-occurrence of EDs and WA, and their relationship with sociodemographic and work-related variables, health, and personality. participants and procedure In a pen-and-pencil cross-sectional study, the Bergen Work Addiction Scale (BWAS), a question about a current or previous diagnosis of EDs and other mental disorders, personality questionnaires, and questions concerning demographic , health and work-related variables were administered to 723 Polish employees from various professions. results Six females (0.8%) and none of the males declared having been diagnosed with EDs, which is, to a large extent, congruent with the expected prevalence in the general population. Five out of these six females (83%) reached the cutoff score for WA. Of all women who reached this cutoff , 5.5% reported EDs. All these women were in their twenties, not married, having no children, working in non-managerial positions, with body mass index (BMI) in the normal range or below. Preliminary comparisons with matched comparison groups were conducted. conclusions These initial results suggest that WA may be highly prevalent among professionally active women diagnosed with EDs. Functioning of individuals with EDs in the workplace is a vastly understudied issue which merits more attention owing to high suicide risk and mortality due to health complications, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD), related to EDs and overworking, a significant prevalence of subclinical EDs in female populations (especially among youth), and a typically worse prognosis for EDs comorbid with other disorders. Both problematic behaviors are related to denial, which suggests that these may be much more prevalent problems than current estimates indicate.
... To comprehensively assess mood, cognitive factors, coping, and eating behaviours, we utilized eight measures to include: 1) Profile of Mood States (POMS) (McNair et al., 1971), 2) Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS) (Weissman, 1980;Weissman & Beck, CA1978), 3) Daily Stress Inventory (DSI) (Brantley et al., 1987), 4) Beck Depression Inventory (Beck et al., 1961), 5) Brief Resilience Scale (Smith et al., 2008), 6) Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen et al., 1983), 7) Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ) (Bond et al., 2001;Cappelleri et al., 2009), and, 8) Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI) (Garner, 1991). The use of these measures is based on previous findings in women with FHA (Bomba et al., 2014;Cockerill et al., 1992;Giles & Berga, 1993;Marcus et al., 2001) and based on commonly assessed eating behaviour phenotypes (MJ De Souza et al., 2007Gibbs et al., 2011;Scheid et al., 2009;Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004), which are associated with disordered eating and frequently present in athletes (Rousselet et al., 2017;Torstveit & Sundgot-Borgen, 2005). Additionally, several of these measures have been utilized in patients with clinical eating disorders to link psychological stress to the onset/manifestation of anorexia nervosa or bulimia (Koo-Loeb et al., 2000;Sohlberg & Norring, 1992). ...
Article
Functional hypothalamic amenorrhoea (FHA) can occur due to the independent or combined effects of psychogenic and energetic stressors. In exercising women, research has primarily focused on energy deficiency as the cause of FHA while psychological stressors have been ignored. To assess both psychological and metabolic factors associated with FHA in exercising women, we performed across-sectional comparison of 61 exercising women (≥2 hours/week, age 18-35 years, BMI 16-25kg/m 2), who were eumenorrheic or amenorrhoeic confirmed by daily urine samples assayed for reproductive hormone metabolites. Psychological factors and eating behaviours were assessed by self-report questionnaires. Exercising women with FHA had lower resting metabolic rate (p=0.023), T3 (p<0.001), T4 (p=0.013), leptin (p=0.002), higher peptide YY (p<0.001), greater drive for thinness (p=0.017), greater dietary cognitive restraint (p<0.001), and displayed dysfunctional attitudes, i.e., need for social approval (p=0.047) compared to eumenorrheic women. Amenorrhoeic women displayed asignificant positive correlation between the need for social approval and drive for thinness with indicators of stress, depression, and mood, which was not apparent in eumenorrheic women. In exercising women with FHA, eating behaviours are positively related to indicators of psychological stress and depression.
Article
Full-text available
Fulfilling individual energy and nutrient requirements is of great importance for athletes to support overall health and well-being, training adaptation, recovery and injury prevention. Energy availability is the amount of energy left over and available for bodily functions after the energy expended for training is subtracted from the energy taken in from food. The syndrome of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-s) refers to the multifactorial health and performance consequences of low energy availability. Potential physiological implications of RED-s include impaired metabolic rate, hormonal disruptions, menstrual dysfunction, reduced bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, and cardiovascular health. These can have short and long term consequences on health and sport performance. Causes of RED-s range from unintentional (e.g. lack of awareness or difficulties with meeting high energy requirements) to more intentional behaviors and further to clinical eating disorders. RED-s prevalence appears to differ between sports and sport disciplines, with highest risk in endurance, aesthetic and weight-class sports. This article in Icelandic summarizes current knowledge of RED-s implications for health and performance, and highlights the importance of early diagnosis and screening. Research on RED-s in Icelandic athletes is warranted as it could support development of national guidelines, prevention and treatment protocols.
Article
Full-text available
Identification, evaluation and management of disordered eating (DE) is complex. DE exists along the spectrum from optimised nutrition through to clinical eating disorders (EDs). Individual athletes can move back and forth along the spectrum of eating behaviour at any point in time over their career and within different stages of a training cycle. Athletes are more likely to present with DE than a clinical ED. Overall, there is a higher prevalence of DE and EDs in athletes compared with non-athletes. Additionally, athletes participating in aesthetic, gravitational and weight-class sports are at higher risk of DE and EDs than those in sports without these characteristics. The evaluation and management of DE requires a cohesive team of professional practitioners consisting of, at minimum, a doctor, a sports dietitian and a psychologist, termed within this statement as the core multidisciplinary team. The Australian Institute of Sport and the National Eating Disorders Collaboration have collaborated to provide this position statement, containing guidelines for athletes, coaches, support staff, clinicians and sporting organisations. The guidelines support the prevention and early identification of DE, and promote timely intervention to optimise nutrition for performance in a safe, supported, purposeful and individualised manner. This position statement is a call to action to all involved in sport to be aware of poor self-image and poor body image among athletes. The practical recommendations should guide the clinical management of DE in high performance sport.
Article
Previous research suggests that individuals diagnosed with eating disorders (ED) may experience executive functioning deficits that help maintain their ED. Although this relationship is reported consistently in clinical samples, it is important to consider whether it holds for individuals with sub-clinical ED symptoms. One hundred eighty-eight university students participated in the present study examining the relationship between executive function (EF) and disordered eating behaviors. Participants completed a demographics questionnaire, self-report questionnaires measuring atypical eating behaviors (EAT-26; EDI-3), and a self-report measure of EF (BRIEF-A). Correlational analyses demonstrated significant positive associations between ED behaviors and problems with emotional control, shifting, inhibition, and self-monitoring. Six hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted, using EF scores to predict scores on EAT-26 subscales (Dieting, Bulimia, Total ED Risk) and EDI-3 scales (Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, Risk Composite). In all regression analyses, BRIEF-A Emotional Control emerged as a significant predictor. As would be expected, EDI-3 Bulimia scores were also predicted by problems with inhibition. These results provide preliminary evidence of an association between non-clinical patterns of disordered eating and executive dysfunction, specifically including the ability to control one’s emotions, suggesting that emotional control problems may help predict ED risk. Future research could examine how these factors predict the development of eating disorders.
Book
Full-text available
The EDI-2 manual is currently out of print but the attached file provides the table of contents for the EDI-3 which includes all of the EDI-2 items as well as the updated scale structure and scoring system for the EDI-3
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews current eating disorder self-report and interview measures and makes recommendations for choosing assessment devices for practice and research. The authors also incorporate overviews of related measures, such as body satisfaction and restrained eating. The presentation of women with eating disorders on measures of gen-eral psychological functioning (such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inven-tory) is also discussed. Implications and recommendations for practice are presented, as are recommendations for future research. The lack of validation of, and urgent need for, eating disorder assessment measures with ethnic minority women is discussed throughout. Our goal is to provide information about useful assessment methods for counseling psychologists doing research or practice in the area of eating dis-orders (EDs). As Crowther and Sherwood (1997) noted, the multifaceted nature of EDs requires multidimensional, comprehensive assessment. The ED assessment literature is burgeoning with increasing attention focused on evaluating the psychometric qualities of both new measures and revisions of more established instruments (Crouther & Sherwood, 1997). In this article, we cover two major types of assessment procedures specific to eating disor-ders: self-report inventories and structured interview measures. In addition, we provide brief information regarding related measures of potential interest to researchers and practitioners (e.g., body image assessment) and briefly cover material concerning how women with EDs typically score on standard assessment inventories such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inven-tory (MMPI) and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI). Finally, we conclude with implications for practice and research. Throughout the arti-cle, we attend to issues of assessment with ethnic minority women. A great 662
Article
Research shows inconclusive results pertaining to the comparison of eating disorder indices between athletes and nonathletes and among different subgroups of athletes. The purpose of this study was to meta-analytically review the literature on (a) bulimia nervosa indices, (b) anorexia nervosa indices, and (c) drive for thinness (a cardinal feature of both anorexia and bulimia) in male and female athletes. Results of 92 studies with 560 effect sizes (ES) revealed small ESs (range: -.01 to .30) in relation to group membership characteristics. Results for female athletes revealed small ESs for bulimia and anorexia indices, suggesting that female athletes self-reported more bulimic and anorexic symptomatology than control groups; nonsignificant group differences were evidenced for drive for thinness. Results for male athletes revealed small ESs on all three indices, suggesting that male athletes self-reported more eating disorder symptomatology than control groups. Moderator variables that might contribute to understanding the results are examined, and future research directions are presented.
Article
This study investigated the possibility that male athletes who, owing to the rules of their sport, are pressured to maintain a low weight show an elevated prevalence of subclinical eating disorders. Twenty-five wrestlers and 59 rowers in the lower weight categories were investigated using the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI). Fifty-two percent of the athletes reported the occurrence of binging. The EDI profiles of 11% of the athletes suggested the presence of a subclinical eating disorder. These figures are clearly elevated compared with the normal male population. Low-weight wrestlers and rowers should be considered a high-risk male population for subclinical eating disorders. These findings are comparable to high-risk groups consisting mainly of women (such as ballet and modelling students). The causal relationship between the specific sport and the development of a psychogenic eating disorder is discussed.
Article
Objective This study compares males and females with DSM-IV-defined eating disorders who were admitted to the inpatient eating disorders service at The New York Hospital, Cornell between 1984 and 1987.Methods During this period, 51 males and 693 females presented for their first admission. Demographic information, questionnaires, and SCID interviews were used to compare the male and female samples.ResultsMales were significantly more likely than females to have a later onset of their eating disorder (20.56 vs. 17.15 years), and to be involved in an occupation or sport in which weight control influences performance. There were no significant gender differences in other characteristics or comorbid diagnoses. Males constituted an increasing percentage of total admissions between 1984 and 1997 (r = .692, p = .009).DiscussionThe similarities of core eating disorder psychopathology and comorbid illness in male and female patients encourage the continued use of similar detection and treatment strategies with both groups. © 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 25: 415–424, 1999.
Article
Competitive female athletes may have higher risk of eating disorders (ED) than recreational athletes, in part because low body fat may be advantageous in sports. However, women who participate in sports or physical activities might also do this for weight reduction, altering body shape, and for other food related reasons. This study was conducted to evaluate the association between hours of leisure time physical activity (PA) and prevalence of ED, and whether the association between the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) scales and ED, as classified by the Survey of Eating Disorders (SED), was the same among women with high vs. low physical activity levels. The community-based study sample consisted of 898 female students aged 18–50 years. Subjects filled out the EDI, the SED, and a questionnaire concerning physical activity and demographic data. Physical activity was not associated with increased risk of having a SED-defined diagnosis of an ED or of having an EDI score greater than 40, which is sometimes used to define women at risk for having an eating disorder. Women with a SED-defined ED had higher scores on all subscales of the EDI, but did not differ with respect to age, BMI or hours of weekly activity. The strongest predictors of having a SED-defined ED were body mass index (BMI), two EDI scales, drive of thinness and Bulimia Nervosa, with no differences between the two PA groups. Among women with a SED-defined ED, those with more than 5 h weekly PA did not differ from others with respect to scoring on the EDI or BMI. Results suggest that hours of physical activity may not increase risk of developing ED. Effective interventions are needed to help the growing numbers of persons with body-image and eating difficulties. For some, moderate physical training might be helpful.
Article
The article reports on two studies investigating the frequency of eating disorders among swimmers. The first study was a screening based on self-report only and the second was a controlled study with a clinical interview of alle subjects. In the screening study, 28% of men and 3.5% of women had suspected eating disorder symptoms. No significant relationship was found between risk levels and competitive levels. In the controlled study, no indications of anorexia nervosa were found. Among Swimmers, 3.2% satisfied the DSM-III-R criteria for bulimia nervosa, and 9.7% had partial bulimic conditions. The results did not support the hypothesis of an increased frequency of clinical or partial eating disorders in elite athletes. The presence of symptoms was more related to being a woman rather than being a swimmer. Suggestions for further research are outlined to determine the causal relationship between sports and eating disorders.