Friday, November 04, 2011

Female Athletes: Preventing Eating Disorders

By Lisa Mason

Female athletes are at a greater risk of developing an eating disorder than male athletes, or female non-athletes, although it can happen to anyone from any background of any age. Statistics have shown that female athletes have an increased risk of eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa.
According to the National Eating Disorder Association (2003), 5-10% of all women have some form of eating disorder. Moreover, research suggests that 19-30% of female college students could be diagnosed with an eating disorder (Fisher, Golden, Katzman, & Kreipe, 1995).
Studies have also shown that there are certain sports in which female athletes are most likely to develop an eating disorder. These high-risk sports include:
  • ballet and other dance
  • figure skating
  • gymnastics
  • running
  • swimming
  • rowing
  • horse racing
  • wrestling
The large demands for performance and body image contribute to this problem. In addition to eating disorders, many female athletes also partake in compulsive exercise in order to stay in shape, lose weight or try to increase performance.
...Continue reading here.
What are pressures that athletes are continually facing that may lead to involvement in eating disordered behaviors?

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