Eating Disorders In Athletes Research Paper

Submitted By Kellyanne-Dobson Mic
Words: 1993
Pages: 8


Eating Disorders in Athlete American Public University February 21, 2015 Kellyanne Michael

Eating Disorders in Athletes 2 Eating Disorders in Athletes
Looking in your mirror at home, do you always like what you see? Most people come to accept themselves and their body image just the way it is. Other’s struggle to achieve the perfect body. They strive to be what they see all the time in fashion magazines and movies. It’s a never ending obsession to be thin and perfect. This inevitably can lead to eating disorders. Eating disorders can cause someone to have a negative image of themselves and food becomes their enemy. It’s not news that eating disorders are a huge problem in the United States but what about eating disorders in sports specifically. Athletes are not immune to disorders just because they are considered the elite in their perspective sport. It is said that at least thirteen percent of athletes have some type of eating disorders. This paper will discuss the types of eating disorders that are prevalent in athletes, what causes athletes to not eat healthy and what we can do as parents, coaches, physicians and a community to help our athletes with healthy eating habits and regular exercise. Before eating disorders in athletes can be discussed it’s important to know what is defined as an eating disorder and what the different types of eating disorders are. Eating disorders are any disturbance in a normal eating pattern. There are four main types of eating disorders, and two being the most common of the four. They are Anorexia and Bulemia which are the most common and Cachexia and Binge eating disorder which are the other two. “Anorexia nervosa is characterized by emaciation, a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, a distortion of body image and intense fear of gaining weight, a lack of menstruation among girls and women, and extremely disturbed eating behavior” ("Eating Disorders Statistics - National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders," n.d.) People who have
Eating Disorders in Athletes 3 anorexia see themselves as fat and overweight even when it is clear that they are thin and malnourished. They will often diet and exercise way too much. They also will cause themselves to vomit up their food or even resort to taking laxatives to aid in losing weight. Those suffering from anorexia will constantly weight themselves and are forever obsessed with how many calories and fat is in everything they eat. It becomes a very viscous cycle and their health can deteriorate quickly or over a period of many years. The second most common type of eating disorder is Bulemia. Bulemia is a disorder in where the person is not happy with their body image. They binge eat over certain amounts of time and then purge to get rid of the food. This is done by vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics. They also trend to exercise excessively. It is sometimes more difficult to identify someone with Bulemia at first because a lot of the time they are around the normal range as far as their weight is concerned. Because of this some are able to hide their disorder for years. Third is BED (Binge Eating Disorder) Unlike Anorexia and Bulemia those with this disorder are often overweight or even obese. They are obsessed with food and will constantly