Stress, eating disorders linked to athlete competitiveness

Capital News Service
LANSING – Life-threatening eating disorders can develop and affect athletes differently than non-athletes, experts say. In 2009, 13 percent of Michigan high school students reported some levels of anorexic behavior, while 7 percent reported bulimic behavior, according to a survey by the Department of Education. There is little difference between the percentages of athletes and non-athletes with eating disorders, but athletes face stress and situations that can provoke a disorder to manifest, said Marty Ewing, an associate professor of kinesiology at Michigan State University. “We have the same body image issues outside of sports that we do in sports,” she said. “We just have a better stage for judging athletes’ appearances and athletes have a better stage for judging themselves against others,” Ewing said.