Anorexia Athletica

Eating disorders in athletes

It has long been recognised that there is a higher than normal prevalence of eating disorders in athletes and a great deal of research has been done in this field. The term 'Anorexia Athletica' has been used to define a sub-group of athletes with eating disorder symptoms that do not permit a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa and would therefore fall within the boundaries of Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Whilst not a formal eating disorder it might be surmised that individuals to whom the term anorexia athletica could be applied would have an eating disorder categorised under EDNOS.

Technically, Anorexia Athletica should refer only to female athletes but tends to be applied to either gender.

Anorexia Athletic gains recognition 

The term Anorexia Athletica was first used in the 1980s by

The term has since come to be used, rather loosely, in some quarters to simply refer to compulsive exercising.

There is much information and research available on the internet for anyone wishing to look into Anorexia Athletica further, for example the 1994 paper by Sundgot-Borgen, Risk and trigger factors for the development of eating disorders in female elite athletes.

“Whenever I have contacted SWEDA, I have always received a very quick response, and have felt completely safe to ask for help when I have needed it. There have been periods of time when I have not needed a lot of contact, and times when I have asked for frequent contact. Talking to the same person over a long period of time has meant I have had a consistent place to go for support, and this has been invaluable."

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