Eating Disorders and Nutritional Habits of Female University Athletes
1School of Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun, Turkey
2School of Nutrition and Dietetics, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: Female university athletes, eating disorder, nutritional habits, sports nutrition
Objective: Health problems such as inadequate energy intake, menstrual disorders, and musculoskeletal injuries have become more prevalent in female athletes with the increased sports participation, the development of diagnostic methods and the increased number of scientific researches. It is necessary to carry out studies to determine the nutritional status of female athletes. The aim of this study was to investigate eating habits and eating disorders in female university athletes.
Material and Methods: Seventy-seven university student female athletes aged 18-25 years participated in the study. Information on the athletes was obtained through a questionnaire. Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) was used to determine eating disorders.
Results: EAT-26 test results revealed that 32.5% of female athletes had eating disorders. Although the prevalence of eating disorders, skipped meals, and using of nutritional supplements was higher among strength/power athletes, no statistical significance was found between them (p>0.05). There was a positive and moderate correlation between athletes' weekly exercise duration and EAT-26 test scores. (r=0.321, p<0.05).
Conclusions: A high prevalence of eating disorders and inappropriate eating habits were observed in female university athletes. In addition to improving and maintaining the health of female athletes by adjusting their eating habits, there is a necessity of providing training to athletes and trainers about this issue. Physicians, dietitians, nurses, psychologists and coaches should act together in diagnosis and treatment processes of eating disorders among athletes.
Cite this article as: Canbolat E, Cakiroglu FP. Eating disorders and nutritional habits of female university athletes. Turk J Sports Med. 2020;55(3):231-8.
The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.
The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.