Eating attitudes, body shape perceptions and mood of elite rowers

J Sci Med Sport. 1999 Mar;2(1):67-77. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(99)80185-6.


The study assessed the influence of age, gender and weight category upon eating attitudes, body shape perceptions, and mood. Elite rowers (N = 103) participating in the 1996 World Championships or Great Britain National Championships completed the Eating Attitude Test (EAT), the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), and a short form of the Profile of Mood States (POMS-C). Participants were grouped as lightweight (Female: < 59 kg, n = 19; Male: < 72.5 kg, n = 31) or heavyweight (Female: n = 25; Male: n = 28) competitors. Results showed higher EAT scores among the lightweight group, 12.0% of whom reported scores above the threshold associated with eating disorders. Body shape concerns were higher for heavyweights than lightweights and for females than males. The interaction effect was not significant. BSQ scores were negatively correlated with age. Depression, Confusion and Tension scores collectively predicted 37% of the variance in BSQ scores while Depression scores predicted 9% of the variance in EAT scores. The results provide further evidence that the risk of eating disorders among elite rowers is moderated by age, gender and weight category. Further, they suggest that measures of mood may help identify athletes at risk from eating disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Age Factors
  • England / epidemiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Sports / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Perception*