Running to win or to be thin? An evaluation of body dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms among adult runners

Lisa M. Anderson, Erin E. Reilly, Sasha Gorrell, Drew A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study evaluated associations between sport-performance-related body dissatisfaction (BD), general-appearance-related BD, and their relation to EAT-26 scores among a sample of adult runners who participated in middle- and long-distance races in the northeastern United States (N = 400, 46.5% male). Women reported elevated BD and eating disorder symptoms, as compared to men. Ridge regression was used to analyze correlations between appearance- and performance-related BD with EAT-26 scores. Results demonstrated that appearance- and performance-related BD positively correlated with EAT-26 scores in women (βs = 0.18 and 0.13, respectively). Race length was a significant covariate for women, such that those who ran middle-distance race events were more likely to report higher EAT-26 scores (β = -3.12). These associations were not demonstrated in men. Results suggest that it is beneficial to address sport-specific body image concerns, in addition to more general appearance-related body image concerns in female runners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalBody Image
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Athletes
  • Body image dissatisfaction
  • Eating disorder

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