Eating disorders in judo, gymnastics and non exercising populations
Carnell, Emma Jayne
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of the investigation was to see if any differences occurred between the prevalence of eating disorders in three populations; judo players, gymnasts and non exercisers. Gymnastics is a sport that emphasises leanness and is aesthetically pleasing. Judo is a weight dependant event. The non exercisers acted as a control group. Garner's (1983) Eating Disorder Inventory (EDD was used to question subjects on their eating attitudes. Additional questions asked about pathogenic weight loss methods and pressure to lose weight. The results showed that one of the two sporting groups scored the highest means in all EDI subscales although only two were significant. The judo players scored significantly higher than the non exercisers in maturity fears and perfectionism subscales. The pathogenic weight control methods showed that the judo players had statistically more incidences in most practices. The gymnasts reported the highest percentage of respondents feeling pressure to lose weight (85.71%). The most disturbing result was the prevalence of unhealthy weight loss methods used by the judo sample. However as such behaviours are part of the judo culture and are traditionally used the problem can be hard to rectify. This is dangerous as could cause short and long term health risks especially if used regularly.
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