Body image disturbance in equestrian athletes

Are equestrian athletes susceptible for eating disorders or body image distortion?

As all equestrians know, not only the horse, but also the rider will be evaluated when riding in competition.

In many sports where aesthetics are important, psychological problems occur because of the high pressure this brings along.

The prevalence of psychological problems such as eating disorders and body image disortions in equestrians has not been examined before.

As mentioned earlier, in other studies, a link was found to exist between aesthetic performance sports and psychological problems.

Participating in an environment in which aesthetics are important may place pressure on female athletes. Regarding physical appearance, the risk prevalence in this study was similar to other sports. 

This article states that equestian athletes should be screened for being at risk for eating disorders. Education programs on weight management, body image and disordered eating may be helpful for them.

> From: Torres-McGehee et al., J Athl Train 46 (2011) 431-437 . All rights reserved to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc. Click here for the online summary.


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