This documentary talks about the prevalence of eating disorder among elite level gymnasts. Studies have showed that eating disorder is widespread among this group compared to other groups of younger adults.

A look at statistics on Eating Disorder among adolescents engaged in gymnastics

  • Only 20% of young adults involved in gymnastics to resort to weight loss supplements like Phen-375 in their weight management techniques
  • Studies show that at least 40% of athletes involved in aesthetic sports competition such as gymnastics are suffering from some type of eating disorder
  • Roughly 25% of college sophomore students are into binging and purging as their source of weight management which is a highly dangerous technique
  • Reports show 33% of men gymnasts suffering from eating disorder.
  • Reports show that there is a higher rate of women gymnasts who are suffering with eating disorders.

While statistics has no clear answers as to the exact cause for the increased risk of eating disorders among aesthetic athletes, many gymnasts who suffer from eating disorder have the tendency to begin dieting at an early age to improve their performance in their chosen career. This practice and the start of dieting at an early age are dangerously building an obsession in dieting and weight loss.

In addition, many of these athletes face direct pressure from trusted sources such as peers, coaches and even parents to pursue and maintain an unnatural and unhealthy weight. Looking at this obsession with weight loss and body image strengthened by group and peer pressure along with the sports focused on perfectionism, it becomes easier to imagine why so many young athletes develop an eating disorder.

A Documentary on Eating Disorder

Effects of Eating Disorder on Gymnasts

What are these gymnasts giving up to achieve perfection? Eating disorder makes a great impact on the the mind and the body. Apart from the psychological and emotional effects of eating disorder, it also leads to serious health problems.

This includes:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Disruption of the menstrual cycle
  • Inflammation of the esophagus
  • Heart damage

The health risks involved are very dangerous. Two known gymnasts, Cathy Rigby and Christie Henrick suffered eating disorders that caused the first to be hospitalized from near fatal electrolyte imbalances caused by bulimia, and the later died due to multiple organ failure resulting from anorexia.

Treatment

There is no standard for treating the psychological habits and mentality of an eating disorder. Techniques such as hospitalization, medical care, interventions, and nutritional counseling are all used in treatment. One of the strongest methods to overcome an eating disorder is early detection.

Symptoms

Symptoms can be hard to identify but frequent consumption of large quantities of food in short periods of time, preoccupation of food and body weight, and rapid unexplained weight loss can all indicate an eating disorder.