While athletes across the board are more likely to develop eating disorders than non-athletes, women in any sport, especially in sports such as gymnastics, are at the highest risk.
In a 1992 NCAA survey, 51 percent of the gymnastics programs that responded reported eating disorders among their team members, a far greater percentage than in any other sport.
With both athletes and non-athletes, anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss, is a common disorder that has been overlooked. While therapy, awareness and more informed coaches can help athletes, many ignore treatment because low body weights are more important to them.
Studies show that there are multiple reasons eating disorders occur in athletes, including stress, pressure, and self-consciousness.
The National Eating Disorder Association is working to spread awareness in hopes to prevent these disorders and decrease the number of eating problems every year.