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Psychopathology. 1998;31(3):153-9.

Adolescent ballet school students: their quest for body weight change.

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University Clinic, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.


Body mass index (BMI) and body type of female and male adolescent ballet dancers (n = 90) and school students (n = 156) were determined. Participants were asked for the body weight she or he would prefer, and ballet students were administered the Eating Attitudes Test-40 (EAT-40). Results between age groups and with reference values were compared. Both in dancers and controls, girls wanted to lose more body weight than boys, with female ballet dancers more than female controls. The desire for reducing body weight was expressed by female ballet dancers of all BMI percentiles and body types, with the highest difference between real and desired body weight in 11-, 13-, and 16-year-olds. In the other groups, a quest for lower body weight was expressed only by adolescents of higher BMI and pyknomorphic and/or mesomorphic body type. Female ballet dancers of all age groups sought to reach body weights below the 5th percentile or below 82% of normal body weight. Desired body weight change was influenced by BMI and body type and correlated positively with EAT-40 score.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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