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Female Athletes Are More Prone to Eating Disorders

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 General News J E 4
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PHOENIX, Nov. 19 Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders(http://www.remudaranch.com), the nation's leading eating disorder treatmentcenter, reports female athletes are more prone to eating disorders whenthey're involved in sports where there's pressure to have a certain body type,weigh a certain amount, or when success depends on their appearance as much astheir performance.

"As with anyone with an eating disorder, female athletes use unhealthymethods to meet legitimate emotional needs," said Juliet Zuercher, registereddietitian and the director of nutrition services at Remuda Programs for EatingDisorders.

Research shows that female athletes in judged sports have a 13 percentincidence of eating disorders compared to just a 3 percent incidence in thegeneral population. Factors that contribute to risk for developing an eatingdisorder include: endurance sports, sports with weight categories, individualsports, "lean" sports and sports with revealing clothing. Additionally, in oneNCAA study, a group of female athletes report wanting 13 percent body fat whenthe mean of the group was 15.4 percent, already below the minimum healthyrange of 17-25 percent body fat for female athletes. This desire for unhealthylevels of body fat is a hallmark of eating disorders.

"Sport participation can complicate the identification of an eatingdisorder and many athletes may not admit to a problem for fear of losingplaying time or displeasing others," adds Zuercher. "Many times, restrictingcalories and excessive exercise are viewed as 'normal' in a sport. But, overtime, the eating disorder will have a negative impact on the athlete's healthand performance."

Athletes struggling with an eating disorder who are persistently injuredor have overall declining health may be addicted to or abusing exercise and/ortheir training schedule. Other signs that an athlete may be suffering from aneating disorder include:

"An athlete who struggles with an eating disorder doesn't have toautomatically give up their sport," said Zuercher. "We must look at eachathlete individually and help them and their 'sport' family to make aninformed decision on when to return to training and competition aftertreatment. When we understand more about the motive an athlete has for havingan eating disorder, we are better equipped to help them and those supportingthem."

About Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders

Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders offers Christian inpatient andresidential treatment for women and girls of all faiths suffering from aneating disorder. Each patient is treated by a multi-disciplinary teamincluding a Psychiatric and a Primary Care Provider, Registered Dietitian,Masters Level therapist, Psychologist and Registered Nurse. The professionalstaff equips each patient with the right tools to live a healthy, productivelife. For more information, call 1-800-445-1900 or visithttp://www.remudaranch.com-- Significant weight loss of more than 15 percent total body weight -- Chronic fatigue -- Fainting and/or dizziness -- Hair loss -- Amenorrhea -- Loss of relationships -- Lack of interest in other life activities -- Overall poor balance mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually

SOURCE Remuda Programs for Eating Disorders
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