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Body Image and Disturbed Eating Attitudes and Behaviors in Sport-Involved Adolescents: The Role of Gender and Sport Characteristics

1
Institute of Sport Science and Innovation, Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto 6, 44221 Kaunas, Lithuania
2
Department of Physical and Social Education, Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto 6, 44221 Kaunas, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3061; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123061
Received: 7 November 2019 / Revised: 6 December 2019 / Accepted: 11 December 2019 / Published: 14 December 2019
Disordered eating in adolescents who participate in sports is an issue of great concern. However, very few studies have examined the prevalence of sport-related determinants of disturbed eating attitudes and behaviours (DEABs) in sport-involved adolescents. The present study aims to assess body image and DEABs in the sample of adolescents involved in a sport of different characteristics (competitive sport, leisure sport; weight-sensitive and less-weight-sensitive sport) and to compare the results with those of the controls. A total sample of 732 adolescents (437 (59.4%) were female) participated in the study. The participants ranged in age from 16 to 19 years (mean = 17.2, SD = 0.6). Study participants completed a questionnaire assessing sports characteristics, body image, disordered eating, and health-compromising eating behaviours. Analysis of covariance was used to test the differences of major study variables between controls and weight-sensitive and less-weight-sensitive leisure and competitive sports groups. There was no significant difference observed in DEABs between the sports groups. Competitive athletes reported more satisfaction with body image than controls. The girls participating in weight-sensitive leisure sports reported higher overweight preoccupation and greater DEABs compared to those participating in less-weight-sensitive leisure sports. Boys participating in weight-sensitive leisure sports reported a greater drive for muscularity-related behaviour compared to those participating in less-weight-sensitive leisure sports. There was no observed interaction between gender and weight sensitivity in the competitive sports group. Adolescents involved in a competitive sport demonstrated greater body image satisfaction and did not seem to present a greater risk for DEABs than controls. Special prevention attempts for lowering body image concerns and DEABs should be addressed for adolescents participating in a weight-sensitive leisure sports. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescence; body image; disordered eating; competitive sport; physical activity adolescence; body image; disordered eating; competitive sport; physical activity
MDPI and ACS Style

Jankauskiene, R.; Baceviciene, M. Body Image and Disturbed Eating Attitudes and Behaviors in Sport-Involved Adolescents: The Role of Gender and Sport Characteristics. Nutrients 2019, 11, 3061.

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