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Int J Eat Disord. 2006 Sep;39(6):503-8.

Eating disorder symptomatology among ballet dancers.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA. ringhamrm@upmc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The current study sought to compare eating disorder symptomatology among ballet dancers and individuals with restricting anorexia nervosa (RAN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and no eating pathology.

METHOD:

Twenty-nine female ballet dancers completed assessments and were compared with an archival dataset of 26 women with RAN, 47 women with BN, and 44 women with no eating pathology. Eating disorder diagnoses and behaviors were assessed with a semi-structured clinical interview, the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), and a weight history interview.

RESULTS:

Eighty-three percent of dancers met lifetime criteria for AN (6.9%), BN (10.3%), AN+BN (10.3%), or EDNOS (55.0%). Moreover, dancers looked more similar to eating-disordered individuals than to control individuals on measures of eating pathology.

CONCLUSION:

Despite previous emphasis on the pathology AN, the current findings suggest that dancers frequently engage in binge eating and purging behaviors. Moreover, it appears that their pathology is as severe as that of non-dancing women with eating disorders.

PMID:
16715486
DOI:
10.1002/eat.20299
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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