The prominence of professional sports in America places athletes on the highest pedestal of celebrity, praise and respect. This cultural phenomenon gets replicated in college athletics in the form of big time Division I athletic programs. Often times, these programs incite the same excitement and feverish fandom as professional sports do – sometimes even more so because of the appeal of an athlete’s amateur status to the American imagination, and the almost cultish following of the universities that these athletes represent. Without question, the enormous pressure to excel and win in NCAA Division I programs creates serious issues concerning the physical well being of its athletes.
Because of their dedication and discipline, athletes often tread on the boundary between healthy and unhealthy physical habits…….
When one thinks of nutrition and Division I sports, the concept of anorexia does not seem logical; however, a growing number of female Division I athletes face this serious and potentially fatal problem.
We’ve all heard of anorexia nervosa—a physical and mental disorder in which a person is so afraid of becoming overweight that he or she does not consume enough calories to maintain a healthy lifestyle or sustain his or her athletic training. Studies show that disordered eating, including anorexia and bulimia, strikes at least one-third of all female collegiate athletes.(1) For years eating disorders have fueled the dark underbelly of our sport –most athletes and coaches know they exist, but few of them willingly engage in an open and honest public discussion about them.
The above paragraphs come from an article by Adam Jacobs of The Final Sprint. Here’s the full article.