The Effects of Eating Disorders in Sports

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As athletes cross over from a recreational to an elite level in their designated sport pressure rises. It is no longer about doing your best, it is about being the best. The pressure to win increases drastically. Some athletes becoming willing to do what ever it takes to win. Even if it means risking their own health. Thus, eating disorders in elite athletics become prevalent. Studies have shown that a higher number of athletes compared to non-athletes have been diagnosed with eating disorders. These studies have also shown that both male and females are at equal risk of developing an eating disorder.(Powers, 2007) It has been theorized that this eating disorders are more common in athletes due to their goal oriented perfectionism. They become so engulfed in the need for perfection that it becomes all that matters. For other athletes, it is theorized that eating disorders are their way of taking back control. In some cases, the sport can begin to take over the athletes life. Intense pressure comes from coaches, parents and even teammates. These means that for some individuals they feel as though what the eat is the only control that they have in their life. It turns into a coping mechanism. There are two main eating disorders that are found in the sporting world. The first is anorexia nervousa. This is a disease its which an individual becomes obsessed with weight loss and the food the ingest (Anorexia Nervousa, 2007). Individuals start to associate thinness with self worth. The develop a distorted sense of what is thin. To the average person, someone not having the disease, they may look as though they are at a healthy weight but to the individual with the disease they appear to look over weight. In order to promote we... ... middle of paper ... ...order Services, 2007. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. . "Anorexia Nervosa."Definition. Mayo Clinic, (n.d). Web. 22 Mar. 2014. . "Female Athlete Triad." KidsHealth. Ed. Mary L. Gavin. The Nemours Foundation, 01 Jan. 2014. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. "Bulimia Nervosa Facts, Symptoms, Causes." Walden Behavioral Care Bulimia Nervosa Facts Symptoms Causes Comments. Walden Behavioral Care, 2014. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. . "Eating Disorders." Something Fishy. CRC Health Group, 2007. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. .

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