The study on body image and bulimia nervosa in college female athletes

Por: Hae San Yeh, Melody L. C. Lee e Shiow Shya Chiou.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Since 1960, the number of cases of eating disorder has been increasing both in North America and Europe. Specifically, the problem of eating disorder prevalence derived from extreme concern over one’s body weight in female athletes is more wide-spread in many countries .


A total of 319 female athletes recruited from 17 different sports in Taipei Physical Education College were involved in this study. Survey used in this study included a personal information questionnaire and Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI-BU). Data were analyzed by both descriptive and One way ANOVA analysis.


Results of this study are as follows:
1. The prevalence of bulimia nervosa among college female athletes was 4.4%.
2. Athletes participating in sports such as taekwondo, karate and judo had higher prevalence of bulimia nervosa than those in sports such as dance, gymnastics, track and field and a variety of ball games. Athletes participating in sports such as dance and gymnastics were less satisfied with their body weight than those in taekwondo, karate, judo, track and field and a variety of ball games.
3. The prevalence of bulimia nervosa was significantly different among different actual, perceived and expected weight categories.

Discussion / Conclusions

This study concluded that bulimia nervosa rate was higher in this study compared with other studies (Sundgot, 1994; Rosen & Hough, 1988). Furthermore, athletes participating in sports such as taekwondo, karate, judo, dance and gymnastics are suggested to be more knowledgeable in nutrition and more self-confident because of the support they received from their coach, sport psychologist and nutritionist.


[1]. Sundgot-Borgen, J. (1994).. Medicine of Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(4), 414-419.
[2]. Rosen, L.W., & Hough, D. O. (1988). Physician and Sports medicine, 16(9), 141-144.
[3]. Reel, J.J., &Gill, D. L. (1996). . The Sports Psychologist, 10, 195-206.






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