Male and female eating disorders in fitness sports

Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies

ISSN: 2161-0673

Open Access

Male and female eating disorders in fitness sports

International Conference on Sports Medicine and Fitness

March 23-25, 2015 Chicago, USA

Vanessa Lentillon-Kaestner

Posters-Accepted Abstracts: J Sports Med Doping Stud

Abstract :

Fitness sports may be considered high-risk sports for the development of eating disorders (EDs), along with aesthetic sports, weight division sports, endurance sports, and sports with vertical moves. Based on previous research, the purpose of this presentation is to better understand the relationships between EDs and fitness sports among men and women. Fitness activities themselves cannot be associated with EDs; different fitness sports are associated with different EDs among males and females. The fear of gaining weight or the desire to lose weight leads women to practice cardio-based activities and notably cardiobased fitness classes. Nevertheless, fitness classes seem not to be the preferred physical activity for women suffering from EDs and fitness sports playan ambivalent role in EDs. In contrast, many men who are unhappy with their body appearance choose bodybuilding to increase their muscle mass and develop EDs. Muscle dysmorphia is characterized by the desire to increase muscle mass and lose body fat, and also includes obsessive compulsive features that are typical to those related to EDs. Muscle dysmorphia is common and has been mostly studied in competitive bodybuilding. The development of EDs in fitness sports among men and women is related to social norms of attractiveness in the Western Society. Further studies are needed among women to analyze more in depth the relationship between other more unstructured cardio-based activities and EDs. Among males, further psychosocial studies with quantitative and qualitative methods, notably among non-competitive bodybuilders, would permit to better understand male EDs in fitness sport.

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