Eating Disorders in Female Athletes

Eating Disorders

Unhealthy eating habits usually cause acute discomfort and disorders which can eventually result in death. Female Athletes competing in sports where a specific body weight or leanness is desirable and important is more vulnerable to suffer from eating disorders than athletes where such qualities are not required. Nearly one-third of all female athletes suffer from depression and anxiety, including the eating disorder, amongst many other health problems. They are constantly trying to balance competitions, practice, and other demands. Athletes who are very weight conscious even forcibly throw up their food if they feel that they have eaten too much.

How far can this obsession reach?

This obsession can reach hysterical proportions because they will not even chew gum which contains 5 calories. Most of the women athletes suffer from Bulimia or an eating disorder where they go on a binge and eat excessively, then induce vomiting or laxatives to purge the food from their bodies to prevent weight gain. Many athletes with Bulimia also suffer from Anorexia nervosa, which is also eating disorder in which a person suffers from an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Persons suffering from Anorexia nervosa continue to feel hungry, but eat very small quantities of food which does not satisfy their hunger. They usually consume an adequate amount of 600-800 calories per days, but there are cases of self-starvation.

Eating Disorder And Mental Disorder

This is basically a mental disorder with the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Anorexia nervosa has a high probability of causing other disorders as well. Some female athletes are so beleaguered that despite their athletic talent, they drop out of sports or even college. Some extreme cases of suicide have also been reported among star athletes. Some athletes in sports such as gymnastics, cheerleading, figure skating, dancing and diving which require clean and good looking figures are more anxious about how they look, and they are the ones most likely to suffer from eating disorders.


It was also discovered that some athletes eat as little as possible because they drink to excess. Eating and drinking would to too many calories, so their intake of food is quite limited. Female athletes need to be crowd pleasers, so for that, they need to win, and they do whatever they think it takes to win, including starving themselves. Athletes are usually people with addictive tendencies. In some female athletes eating disorders may begin with their having emotional problems, but in some, the disorder usually develops with any psychological issues. Studies have shown that at least one-third of all female have some type of eating disorder because they are terrified of gaining weight or becoming too heavy to compete.

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