International Journal of Exercise Science 15(2): 721-732, 2022. Athletes participating in endurance sports report frequent attempts to lose weight and greater training volumes in attempt to gain a competitive advantage. Increased exercise energy expenditure through training, weight periodization, and prevalence of eating disorder (ED) may affect energy availability. Low energy availability (LEA) is associated with negative physiological effects and an increased risk of bone fractures and illness in athletes. This study investigated the relationship between self-reported history of an ED with training, body satisfaction, and weight-control methods among female Olympic marathon trials participants. Female runners (n = 146; 30.8 + 5.0 years of age) who participated in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Marathon completed an online questionnaire examining training volume, weight-control methods, and self-reported diagnosis of an ED. 32% of participants reported previous ED while 6% reported a current ED and were grouped together based on a self-reported lifetime diagnosis of ED (current or past) or no ED for further analysis. A Chi-square analysis indicated a statistical difference when p ≤ 0.05. Runners who reported ED were significantly more likely to experience weight dissatisfaction (χ2 3,146 = 9.59, p = .022) and restricting or reducing food in the three months prior to the marathon (χ2 5,146 = 17.58, p = .004). Consistent with previous literature, a substantial percentage of participants reported ED. This investigation suggests that ED may be associated with weight control methods and feelings of body dissatisfaction in competitive female runners.
Charitou, Sophia; Pritchett, Kelly; Ogan, Dana; and Larson, Abigail
"THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EATING DISORDERS, WEIGHT CONTROL METHODS, AND BODY SATISFACTION IN ELITE FEMALE RUNNERS COMPETING AT THE 2020 U.S. OLYMPIC MARATHON TRIALS,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 15
2, Pages 721 - 732.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol15/iss2/7