Eating, weight, and dieting disturbances in male and female lightweight and heavyweight rowers

Int J Eat Disord. 1993 Sep;14(2):203-11. doi: 10.1002/1098-108x(199309)14:2<203::aid-eat2260140210>;2-v.


Rowers compete in a sport that allows comparison of male and female athletes and where some (lightweight) but not others (heavyweights) must meet specific weight criteria. Eating attitudes, dieting patterns, weight fluctuation, and methods of weight loss were evaluated in 162 rowers: 82 heavyweights (56 females, 26 males) and 80 lightweights (17 females, 63 males). Females displayed more disturbed eating practices and weight control methods than did males. Lightweights did not have more disturbed eating practices than heavyweights, but employed more extreme weight loss methods. Male rowers were more affected by weight restriction than were female rowers. Lightweight males showed greater weight fluctuation during the season and gained more weight during the offseason than did lightweight females and heavyweight males and females. These results indicate that rowing can join the growing list of sports where eating and weight disturbances may be present. Male athletes may be more vulnerable to these problems than previously recognized.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Sports*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires