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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


VIEIRA, José Luiz Lopes et al. Eating disorders and body image distortion in the rhythmic gymnastics competitive context. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2009, vol.15, n.6, pp.410-414. ISSN 1517-8692.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence and relationship between eating behavior disorders and body image distortion in rhythmic gymnastics' athletes who participate in a competitive sports context. METHODS: 48 rhythmic gymnastics athletes from the junior and senior categories and 48 elementary and high school students (control group) participated in the study. For the identification of eating behavior disorder the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26) was used and to determine body image dissatisfaction the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ). For statistic analysis the Kruskall-Wallis test (p<0.05) and Spearman Correlation were used. RESULTS: there were not statistical differences between the gymnastics group and the students group for eating behavior disorder; a significant correlation was noticed between eating behavior disorder and body image distortion for the athletes from younger junior (10-12 years old) and older junior (12-14 years old) sport categories. Descriptive analysis revealed that 27.2% (4 gymnastics/10-12 years old); 20.0% (4 gymnasts/13-14 years old) presented suggestive behavior of eating disorder. Two gymnasts aged 10-12 years old (10.0%), five gymnasts aged 13-14 years old (15.0%) and five 15 years old gymnasts (100%) presented body image distortion. CONCLUSION: The evidence points that the adolescents' behavioral and cognitive perception related to the environment's esthetic demands in which they are inserted seem to be a main factor to be taken in consideration as for the presence of behavior that suggests eating disorder and body image distortion.

Keywords : gymnasts; eating disorders; body image.

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