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Res Nurs Health. 1996 Oct;19(5):377-87.

The relationship between eating disorders and running in women.

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1
School of Nursing, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242-0001, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which eating disorders in women are related to a general tendency toward addiction, addiction to running, and level of running intensity. A stratified sample of 265 women runners/nonrunners (ages 20-35) included 66 nonrunners, 69 low-level runners, 67 medium-level runners, and 63 high-intensity runners. The women were weighed, measured, and had body fat and 4-day nutritional intake assessed. A questionnaire included scales to assess psychological and behavior traits common in women with anorexia (AN) and/or bulimia, general addiction, and running addiction. ANCOVA with age and income as covariates and multiple regression analyses were used. There were significant differences among the groups on the eating disorder scores and percent body fat with higher level runners scoring higher on eating disorder measures and running addiction and lower on body fat. A major finding for those providing health care for women was that 25% of the women who ran >30 miles/week had Eating Attitude Test scores indicating a high risk for anorexia.

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