Advertisement

Sports Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 176–188 | Cite as

Eating Disorders in Female Athletes

  • Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen
Review Article

Summary

Eating disorders can lead to death. The prevalence of subclinical and eating disorders is high among female athletes, and the prevalence of eating disorders is higher among female athletes than nonathletes. Athletes competing in sports where leanness or a specific bodyweight is considered important are more prone to develop eating disorders than athletes competing in sports where these factors are considered less important. It appears necessary to examine true eating disorders, the subclinical disorders and the range of behaviours and attitudes associated with eating disturbances in athletes, to learn how these clinical and subclinical disorders are related. Because of methodological weaknesses in the existing studies, including deficient description of the populations studied and the methods of data collection, the best instrument or interview method is not known. Therefore, more research on athletes and eating disorders is needed. Suggestions of the possible sport specific risk factors associated with the development of eating disorders in athletes exist, but large scale longitudinal studies are needed to learn more about risk factors and the aetiology of eating disorders in athletes at different competitive levels and within different sports. Further studies are required on the short and long term effects of eating disorders on athletes’ health and athletic performance.

Keywords

Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Binge Eating Bulimia Nervosa Binge Eating Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 3rd ed. — revised (DSM-III-R), pp. 65–69, American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC, 1987Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, pp. 1–2, 4th ed. (DSM-IV), American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC, 1994Google Scholar
  3. Bassoe HH. Anorexia/bulimia nervosa: the development of anorexia nervosa and of mental symptoms. Treatment and the outcome of the disease. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 82 (Suppl.): 7–13, 1990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benson J, Gillien DM, Bourdet K, Loosli AR. Inadequate nutrition and chronic calorie restriction in adolescent ballerinas. Physician and Sportsmedicine 13: 79–90, 1985Google Scholar
  5. Brownell KD, Rodin J, Wilmore JH. Eating, body weight and performance in athletes. Disorders of modern society. pp. 1–374, Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, 1992Google Scholar
  6. Brownell KD, Steen SN, Wilmore JH. Weight regulation practices in athletes: analysis of metabolic and health effects. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 6: 546–556, 1987Google Scholar
  7. Burckes-Miller ME, Black DR. Male and female college athletes. Prevalence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Athletic Training 2: 137–140, 1988Google Scholar
  8. Clifton EJ. Eating disorders in female athletes: identification and management. Kentucky AHPERD Journal 1(27): 30–32, 1991Google Scholar
  9. Costill DL. Carbohydrate for exercise: dietary demands for optimal performance. International Journal of Sports Medicine 9: 1–18, 1988PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davis C, Cowls MA. A comparison of weight and diet concerns and personality factors among female athletes and non-athletes. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 33: 527–536, 1989PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dummer GM, Rosen LW, Heusner WW, et al. Pathogenic weight-control behaviors of young competitive swimmers. Physician and Sportsmedicine 5: 75–86, 1987Google Scholar
  12. Eisenman PA, Johnson SC, Benson JE. Coaches guide to nutrition and weight control, 2nd ed., pp. 129–140, Leisure Press, Champaign, 1990Google Scholar
  13. Epling WF, Pierce WD. Activity based anorexia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders 7: 475–485, 1988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Epling WF, Pierce WD, Stefan L. A theory of activity based anorexia. International Journal of Eating Disorders 3: 27–46, 1983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Erp-Bart AMJ, Fredrix LWHM, Binkhorst RA, et al. Energy intake and energy expenditure in top female gymnasts. In Brinkhorst et al. (Eds) Children and exercise XI, pp. 218–223, University Park Press, Champaign, 1985Google Scholar
  16. Erp-Bart AM, Saris RA, Binkhorst JA, Elvers JWH. Nationwide survey on nutrient habits in elite athletes. Energy, carbohydrates, protein and fat intake. International Journal of Sports Medicine 10: 3–10, 1989Google Scholar
  17. Garfinkel PE, Garner DM, Goldbloom DS. Eating disorders: implications for the 1990s. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 32: 624–631, 1987Google Scholar
  18. Garner DM, Garfinkel PE. An index of symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Psychological Medicine 9: 273–279, 1979PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Garner DM, Olmsted MP, Polivy J. Manual of eating disorder inventory (EDI). Psychological Assessment Resources, Odessa, 1984Google Scholar
  20. Hamilton LH, Brocks-Gunn J, Warren MP. Sociocultural influences on eating disorders in professional female ballet dancers. International Journal of Eating Disorders 4: 465–477, 1985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hamilton LH, Brooks-Gunn J, Warren MP, Hamilton WG. The role of selectivity in the pathogenesis of eating problems in ballet dancers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 20: 560–565, 1988PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ingjer F, Sundgot-Borgen J. Influence of body weight reduction on maximal oxygen uptake in female elite athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 1: 141–146, 1991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson WG, Schlundt DG. Eating disorders: Assessment and treatment. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 3: 598–614, 1985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Katz JL. Some reflections on the nature of the eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders 4: 617–626, 1985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Katz JL. Long-distance running, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia: a report of two cases. Comprehensive Psychiatry 1: 74–78, 1986CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Katz JL. Eating disorders in women and exercise. In Shangold & Mirken (Eds) Physiology and sports medicine, pp. 248–263, FA Davis Co., Philadelphia, 1988Google Scholar
  27. Loy SF, Conlee RL, Winder WN et al. Effects of 24-hour fast on cycling endurance time at two different intensities. Journal of Applied Physiology 61: 654–659, 1986PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Mallick MJ, Whipple TW, Huerta E. Behavioral and psychological traits of weight-conscious teenagers: a comparison of eating disordered patients and high-and low risk groups. Adolescence 22: 157–167, 1987PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Meredith CN, Stern JS. Nutrient intake and the regulation of body weight and body composition. In Brownell et al. (Eds) Eating, body weight and performance in athletes: disorders of modern society, pp. 45–60, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1992Google Scholar
  30. Nieman C, Carlson KA, Brundslater ME et al. Running endurance in 27-h fasted humans. Journal of Applied Physiology 63: 2502–2509, 1987PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Parr RB, Porter MA, Hodgson SC. Nutrient knowledge and practice of coaches, trainers, and athletes. Physician and Sportsmedicine 3: 127–138, 1984Google Scholar
  32. Puglise MT, Lifshitz F, Grad G, et al. Fear of obesity. A cause of short stature and delayed puberty. New England Journal of Medicine 309: 513–518, 1983Google Scholar
  33. Rosen LW, Hough DO. Pathogenic weight-control behaviors of female college gymnasts. Physician and Sportsmedicine 9: 141–144, 1988Google Scholar
  34. Rosen LW, McKeag DB, Hough DO, et al. Pathogenic weight-control behaviors in female athletes. Physician and Sportsmedicine 14: 79–86, 1986Google Scholar
  35. Sacks MH. Psychiatry and sports. Annals of Sports Medicine 5: 47–52, 1990Google Scholar
  36. Smith NJ. Excessive weight loss and food aversion in athletes simulating anorexia nervosa Pediatrics 1: 139–143, 1980Google Scholar
  37. Steen SN, Brownell KD. Current patterns of weight loss and regain in wrestlers: has the tradition changed? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 22: 762–768, 1990PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Steen SN, Oppliger RA, Brownell KD. Metabolic effects of repeated weight loss and regain in adolescent wrestlers. Journal of the American Medical Association 260: 47–50, 1988PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sundgot-Borgen J. Prevalence of eating disorders in female elite athletes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition 3: 29–40, 1993PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Sundgot-Borgen J. Knowledge and practice of top level coaches about weight-control and eating disorders. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 5 (Suppl. 25): 180, 1993Google Scholar
  41. Sundgot-Borgen J. Risk and trigger factors for the development of eating disorders in female elite athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, in press, 1994Google Scholar
  42. Sundgot-Borgen J, Corbin CB. Eating disorders among female athletes. Physician and Sportsmedicine 2: 89–95, 1987Google Scholar
  43. Sundgot-Borgen J, Larsen S. Nutrient intake and eating behavior of female elite athletes suffering from anorexia nervosa, anorexia athletica and bulimia nervosa. International Journal of Sport Nutrition 3: 431–442, 1993PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Szmuckler GI, Eisler I, Gillis I, et al. The implications of anorexia nervosa in a ballet school. Journal of Psychiatric Research 19: 177–181, 1985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thompson RA, Sherman RT. Helping athletes with eating disorders, Human Kinetic Publishers, Champaign, 1993Google Scholar
  46. Warren BJ, Stanton AL, Blessing DL. Disorded eating patterns in competitive female athletes. International Journal of Eating Disorders 5: 565–569, 1990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Welch PK, Zager KA, Endres J, et al. Nutrition education, body composition and dietary intake of female college athletes. Physician and Sportsmedicine 15: 63–74, 1987Google Scholar
  48. Webster S, Rutt R, Weltman A. Physiological effects of weight loss regimen practiced by college wrestlers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 22: 229–233, 1990PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Wilmore JH. Eating and weight disorders in female athletes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition 1: 104–117, 1991PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Wilson T, Eldredge KL. Pathology and development of eating disorders: implications for athletes. In Brownell et al. (Eds) Eating, body weight and performance in athletes: disorders of modern society, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1992Google Scholar
  51. Wilson GT, Walsh BT. Eating disorders in the DSM-IV. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 3: 362–365, 1991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wolf EMB, Wirth JC, Lohman TG. Nutritional practices of coaches in the Big Ten. Physician and Sportsmedicine 2: 112–124, 1975Google Scholar
  53. Yates A. Compulsive exercise and eating disorders, pp. 1–259, Brunner/Mazel, New York, 1991Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorunn Sundgot-Borgen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Sports MedicineThe Norwegian University of Sport and Physical EducationOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations