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The prevalence of disordered eating in elite male and female soccer players

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posted on 27.02.2020, 13:40 by Will Abbott, Adam Brett, Thomas E Brownlee, Kelly M Hammond, Liam D Harper, Robert J Naughton, Liam Anderson, Edward H Munson, Jack V Sharkey, Rebecca K Randell, Tom CliffordTom Clifford
Purpose
To examine the prevalence of disordered eating (DE) in elite male and female soccer players and the influence of perfectionism.
Methods
Using a cross-sectional design, elite male (n = 137) and female (n = 70) soccer players and non-athlete controls (n = 179) completed the clinical perfectionism questionnaire (CPQ-12) and the eating attitudes test (EAT-26) to assess perfectionism and DE risk, respectively.
Results
Male soccer players had higher EAT-26 scores than controls (10.4 ± 9.9 vs. 6.8 ± 6.7; P = 0.001), but there were no differences in the prevalence of clinical levels of DE (EAT-26 score ≥ 20) (15 vs. 5%, respectively; X2 = 0.079) The proportion of females with DE risk was higher in controls [EAT-26: 13.9 ± 11.6 (25% of population)] than female players [EAT-26: 10.0 ± 9.0% (11% of population)] (X2 = 0.001). With linear regression, perfectionism explained 20% of the variation in DE risk in males (P = 0.001); in females, athletic status (player vs. control) and perfectionism were significant predictors of DE risk, explaining 21% of the variation (P = 0.001). Male reserve team players had higher EAT-26 (+ 3.5) and perfectionism (+ 2.7) scores than first-team players (P < 0.05). There were no differences in the prevalence of DE risk between the male and female soccer players (X2 = 0.595).
Conclusions
The prevalence of DE risk was not different in elite male and female soccer players; in fact, the prevalence was greatest in non-athlete female controls. Perfectionism is a significant predictor of DE risk in males and females.

Level of evidence
III, case–control study.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity

Volume

26

Pages

491–498

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Acceptance date

11/02/2020

Publication date

2020-02-27

Copyright date

2020

eISSN

1590-1262

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Tom Clifford. Deposit date: 27 February 2020

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