Friday, August 01, 2008

Slimness and gymnasts

Despite studies showing a link between disordered eating and involvement in appearance-related sports few studies have examined the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce disordered eating among female athletes. Canadian researchers looked at the effectiveness of a programme called Body Sense in 62 female gymnasts between the ages of 11 and 18. The Body Sense programme addresses: eating attitudes and beliefs, accurate information about body health, unique body size and shape, resisting pressures to diet, physical activity for enjoyment, helping an athlete feel good about herself, assertiveness, stress management, role models and promoting a balance between sport participation and life outside sport. Participation in the programme resulted in athletes perceiving a reduction in pressure from their sports clubs to be thin although no changes were found in body esteem, the girls' perceptions of society's attitude to thinness or the girls' parents' ideas about thinness and dieting.

Buchholz, Annick ... [et al] - Bodysense: an evaluation of a positive body image intervention on sport climate for female athletes Eating Disorders July-September 2008, 16(4), 308-321

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