Eating disorders among athletes. Research and recommendations

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 1998 Oct;7(4):839-57, x.


Research indicates that certain athletes, particularly those in sports that emphasize leanness to enhance performance or appearance (e.g., gymnastics, wrestling, figure skating, diving, and ballet), are at risk for eating disorders. Little is known about the risk for eating disorder symptoms in weight and strength training. It is concluded that, even when mild variants of eating disorders are observed in athletes, they should be given immediate attention because they may severely compromise health and performance. Practical recommendations are made for coaches and trainers to identify the physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of eating disorders. Finally, suggestions are made for addressing eating disorders in athletes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / etiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sports / psychology*
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology