Sports Nutrition Review 1-4, Eating Disorders

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Nutrition, Review Topics | 0 comments

If an athlete gets an eating disorder, it’s the strength and conditioning professional’s responsibility to immediately report this to the team’s physician.  It is not the job of the CSCS to diagnose or treat an eating disorder.  Know the warning signs and report them if a problem is suspected.

Now let’s go over some common eating disorders and their warning signs:

Bulimia

  • Secretive eating habits, food wrappers in unexpected places, sneaking food from the table
  • Disappearing multiple times after eating
  • Being nervous or agitated if unable to be alone after eating
  • Extreme weight gain or loss
  • Evidence of vomit
  • Large amounts of food disappearing

Anorexia

  • Saying “Do you think I’m fat”, when the person is skinny
  • Dramatic weight loss for no good medical reason
  • Getting below the ideal competitive weight, and losing weight during the off-season
  • Preoccupation with food, calories, and weight

Warning signs for both

  • Constipation or stomach aches
  • Mood swings and social withdrawal
  • Excessive exercise and concern about weight
  • Extremely critical of their own physique
  • Strong denial that a problem exists

What to do or not do

  • Do gather information and report all findings to the team physician
  • Do not attempt to make the diagnosis, that is the physician or therapists job
  • Do not simply require more frequent weigh ins, monitor food intake, or offer encouragement on outward appearance.  None of these are effective in treating the disease of bulimia or anorexia.  Referral to a physician or therapist is the correct line of action.

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