Athletes, especially those competing at an elite level, are at a higher risk for eating disorders than the general population.
There’s even a name for the specific anorexia that affects athletes: anorexia athletica, or hypergymnasia.
Luckily, a lot of research has been done on understanding and managing the risks of eating disorders in athletes, and large athletic associations, including the NCAA, recognize the importance of the issue.
While certain sports like gymnastics, ballet, and wrestling lend themselves more readily towards developing disordered behaviors, coaches and athletes should be aware that they can affect athletes in any sport.
For example, Hollie Avil, an Olympic triathlete, quit her sport after some serious soul-searching made her realize that the pressure that kept triggering her illness was too much. David Pocock, an Australian rugby player, has also discussed his past (and continuing) anxieties surrounding food.
If you’re a parent concerned about your child, take a look at NEDA’s toolkit for parents or Rochester Children’s Hospital’s information for parents.
Check out the Twitter hashtag #NEDAwareness for information and chats all week.
Update: Here’s a transcript of Tuesday’s tweet chat: ActiveEDs: What Athletes, Coaches and Trainers Need to Know About Eating Disorders