Eating Disorders and Female Athletes

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Eating Disorders and Female Athletes What are eating disorders? Eating disorders are characterized by gross disturbances in eating behavior and include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorders not otherwise specified(NOS), and binge eating disorder. Also, several researchers have coined the term anorexia athletics. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by refusal to maintain body weight over a minimum level considered normal for age and height, along with distorted body image, fear of fat and weight gain, and amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating followed by purging. These behaviors should occur at least twice a week for three months. Binge eating disorder typically occurs in patients who binge but do not purge. One must have bulimic episodes at least two days a week for six months but must not fit the criteria for bulimia nervosa. Eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) includes a wide array of eating disturbances that do not fall into the anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating diagnosis. Anorexia athletics features an intense fear of becoming fat even though one is at least 5 percent below the expected normal weight range. Also, excessive exercising, restrictive energy intake, use of laxatives or diuretics, as well as planned binge eating (even around training schedules) all classify anorexia athletics. (Sundgot-Borgen, 1994) Eating disorders in athletes do not fit neatly into anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, but rather a combination of both. In athletes, anorexia nervosa may often present itself as over-exercising rather than undereating. In the athletic population, it is difficult to define weight a weight loss criteria for an eating disorder dia... ... middle of paper ... ...sical Education, Recreation, and Dance, 58 (3) Su ndgot- Borgen, J. (1 994). Risk and Trigger Factors for the development of eating disorders in elite female athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exer,cise, 26(4). Sundgot-Borgen,J. (1994). Eating Disorders In Female Athletes. Sports Medicine, 17 (3) Warren, B.J., A.L. Stanton, & D.L. Blessing,. (1990) Disordered eating patterns in competitive female athletes. Intemational Joumal of Eating Disorders, 9(5) Weight, L. M. & T. D. Noakes. (1987) Is running an analog of anorexia? Medicine and Science in Sport and Exer-cise, 19(3) Williamson, D., R.G. Netemeyer, L.P. Jackman, D.A. Anderson, C.L. Funsch, & J.Y. Rabalais. (1 995). Structural Equation Modeling of Risk Factors for the Development of Eating Disorder Symptoms in Female Athletes, Intemational Joumal of Eating Disorders, 17(4)

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