If you answered YES to ANY of these questions, this information is for you…
Eating disorders are serious psychological and medical conditions. They usually begin with a preoccupation with weight and dieting that results in severe disturbance in eating habits and other problem behavior.
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) involves restriction of food intake. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by extreme weight loss; intense fear of weight gain; body image disturbance, and in women, the absence of menstruation.
Bulimia Nervosa (BN) is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating accompanied by purging behavior, such as self-induced vomiting, fasting, misuse of laxatives and/or excessive exercise. Individuals with BN generally have a self‐evaluation that is strongly tied to body weight and shape.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) involves the consumption of large portions of food during discrete time periods and a sense of lack of control over food. BED usually includes a preference for eating alone; eating more rapidly than normal; and eating to the point of feeling uncomfortable, even sick.
Only a small percentage of the population meet the criteria required to be formally diagnosed with an eating disorder. However, a staggering number of individuals meet some of the criteria for one or more of these conditions; of those who seek treatment, most will fall into this category, sometimes referred to as subclinical or partial syndrome. It has been estimated that as many as 50% of college women have eating disorder symptoms. Even when criteria for a formal diagnosis is not met, an eating problem can be quite debilitating and dangerous, and should be taken seriously.
While the incidence and prevalence of eating disorders in athletes is similar to the general population, one study found that out of 1,445 Division I college athletes, 58% of females and 38% of males were at high risk for developing eating disordered behavior. Eating disorders are complex conditions with no simple explanation for how they develop or who will develop them. Athletes are at risk for many of the same reasons that non‐athletes are – intrapsychic, familial, societal and biological factors have all been implicated in the development of eating disorders. However, there are several risk factors in the athletic environment that may make athletes more vulnerable to the development of eating disorders including:
Eating disorders are serious medical conditions with risks including:
It’s never easy to ask for help. College students in need of assistance often resist seeking help for fear of being perceived as “weak” or even “crazy.” Perhaps, as a student athlete, you’re concerned about what your teammates or coaches might think. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. If you have a problem with food, you owe it to yourself to get the help you need. As a student athlete, you study hard for your grades and you train hard for your sport. Why would you neglect your emotional and physical health? There are confidential resources, both on and off campus, that can assist you.
Perhaps you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. Consider the following tips for talking to a friend:
After talking to your friend, if you are still concerned about his or her health and safety, talk to a trusted adult such as a parent, coach, counselor or physician.
|Name of Office / Agency||Phone||Website|
CSULB Counseling & Psychological Services
CSULB Student Health Services
National Eating Disorders Association
|Business Office: (206) 382‐3587 or Toll‐free Information and Referral Helpline: (800) 931‐2237||www.nationaleatingdisorders.org|
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Athletes and eating disorders: What coaches,
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Health consequences of eating disorders.
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National Eating Disorders Association (2002). What should I say? Retrieved from www.NationalEatingDisorders.org.