Objective: The authors assessed the prevalence of pathogenic eating and weight-control behaviors among female college athletes, using a psychometrically valid measure.
Participants: Participants were 204 college athletes (M age=20.16 years, SD=1.31 years) from 17 sports at 3 universities. On average, they participated in their sport for 10.88 years (SD=16.68 years) and on their college team for 2.10 years (SD=1.03 years).
Methods: Participants completed a demographic and weight background questionnaire, Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnoses, and the Bulimia Test-Revised.
Results: The authors classified participants as eating disordered (n=4, 2.0%), symptomatic (n=52, 25.5%), and asymptomatic (n=148, 72.5%). Few participants engaged in binge eating; most used exercise, as opposed to vomiting, dieting, laxatives, or diuretics, to control their weight.
Conclusions: Female athletes suffer from eating disorders, and most experience symptom levels that are subclinical but problematic.