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Eating Disorders Among Athletes. Presentation by: Julie Cassara Hildeberto Campos Carolyn Gonzalez Gus M. Lasam Return to main page. Introduction.

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eating disorders among athletes

Eating Disorders Among Athletes

Presentation by:

Julie Cassara

Hildeberto Campos

Carolyn Gonzalez

Gus M. Lasam

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Eating disorders, specifically anorexia and bulimia, continue to be on the rise among athletes in the sports of figure skating, wrestling and gymnastics.

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most common types of eating disorders in sports

Most Common Types of Eating Disorders in Sports

Anorexia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa

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psychological characteristics of anorexics
Psychological Characteristics of Anorexics
  • Preoccupied with dieting and being thin leading to excessive weight loss.
  • Have intense fear of fat and becoming fat.
  • Preoccupation with food and weight loss mask underlying psychological problems.

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psychological characteristics of bulimics
Psychological Characteristics of Bulimics
  • Frequent episodes of binge eating.
  • Exercise compulsively.
  • Fasting.
  • Abuse laxatives/diuretics.

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psychological characteristics of bulimics8
Psychological Characteristics of Bulimics
  • Purging involves vomiting.
  • Often feels guilty after eating a meal.
  • No visible physical characteristics.
  • Uses self-destructive eating behavior to mask psychological problems.

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types of sports with high risks for eating disorders
Types of Sports With High Risks for Eating Disorders
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Boxing
  • Figure skating

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causes in gymnastics
Causes in Gymnastics

Standards Set by Society

Pressure from Parents

Pressure from Coaches

Pressure from Judges

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standards set by society
Standards Set by Society

“In 1976, the average gymnast was 5’3” tall

weighting 105 pounds, and in 1992, the average

gymnast was 4’9” weighing 88 pounds.”

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pressure from parents
Pressure from Parents

Parents who are competitive, controlling or

perfectionists tend to push these behaviors on

their children.

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pressure from coaches
Pressure from Coaches

Coaches are guilty of criticizing gymnasts for the

need to be thin. A lot of the time coaches see

their athletes’ physiques as a reflection of


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pressure from judges
Pressure from Judges

Judges consider thinness a factor when scoring for

technical and artistic ability.

“In 1988, at a meet in Budapest, a US judge told

Christy Hendrich, one of the world’s top

gymnasts, that she was too fat and needed to lose

weight if she hoped to make the Olympic squad.”

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causes lead to consequences
Causes Lead to Consequences

“On July 26, 1994, at age 22, Christy Hendrich died of multiple organ failure. She weighed only 47 pounds.”

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population and eating disorders
Population and Eating Disorders
  • Eating disorders among males and females are more prevalent among athletes then non athletes.
  • Eating disorders have a higher prevalence in the female athlete population, than in the male athlete population.

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eating disorders and genders
Eating Disorders and Genders
  • The occurrence of eating disorders cases among female athletes is of 90 – 95%
  • Among females Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are more prevalent
  • Among males self-induced vomiting, binging, abuse of laxatives and diuretics is more prevalent

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females and anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
Females and Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa
  • In the female population the percentages of Bulimia Nervosa is higher than that of Anorexia Nervosa
  • 3% of women between the ages of 13 and 30 are bulimic, while 1% are Anorexic
females and anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa continued
Females and Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa…continued
  • 10 to 20% of all anorexic patients admitted to the hospital for anorexia will eventually die from it

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warning signs
Warning Signs
  • Excessive exercise outside of routine training period
  • Withdrawal from teammates
  • Inability to complete workouts
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Loss of concentration
  • Restrictive dieting

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more warning signs
More Warning Signs
  • Purging through vomiting,diuretics or laxatives
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in mood
  • Fainting
  • Light-headedness
  • Decreased stamina

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  • One should be prepared to recognize and educate athletes on the symptoms and warning signs of eating disorders.
  • Educate athletes on the physical risks of maintaining a low body weight.
  • Set realistic goals, taking into account the individual athlete’s body type and shape.

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Promote total and healthy nutrition
  • Eliminate public weight-in and body-fat analyses
  • Provide a resource for emotional counseling
  • Encourage positive self-image and self –esteem

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more preventions
More Preventions
  • Do not overplay the impact of weight on athletic performance
  • Recognize when healthy training regiments turn into obsessive regiments
  • Eliminate ridiculing or flippant remarks about body shape or weight

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  • Hospitalization
  • Medication
  • Dental work
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Family counseling

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The key is Awareness of…





Bottom line is…

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