You and the World- Teen athletes and Eating Disorders.

My name is Naomi Fecher-Davis, I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. This year in English class we have all chosen topics we think are important issues in the world we would like to be agents of change for. The topic I choose is Teen Athlete Health. Mostly to do with the body image problems that come along with it and how the ideal body image for athletes usually isn’t what you get. This is a problem in both male and female athletes but it is 10x more  likely in females.

(A picture in an article about the weight loss this athlete has to make to be able to compete in a wrestling match.)
It has to do with the pressure of being judged. In many sports where girls are judged it is always a pressure many have to deal with to look like the ideal person for that sport. But the truth is that everyone can’t be the ideal person. It doesn’t then make you less of a good athlete or anything it just means you don’t have the picturesque body type. The normal athlete is meant to eat 2,000 to 5,000 calories a day.

Even people who are world class athletes are worried about body image and it isn’t just how people are going to look at them. If you go to the Olympic website, you will see that Olympic athletes have gone through the same thing. But how you look at your self, but how you think it affects your performance. I’m not saying that it isn’t peer pressure or judge pressure because it definitely is aswell but it you are happy in your own body there isn’t much anyone else can say because you will be able to brush it off.

(This picture was featured in an article about teens with eating disorders.)

There are obviously positive effects from being an athlete, for example it leads to better coordination in the body. As shown in the Health Guidance website. There is also always the effect of the pressure of being picturesque that turns some to eating disorders. It is common it society for both female and male athletes to have eating disorders, but is more likely for women to have them oppose to men. It isn’t that sports lead to eating disorders but the ideas behind sports/athletes go along the same lines as people with eating disorders. For example, excessive exercise, focus on body shape and size, and diet restrictions.

In many cases the trainer should be the one to help with the positive body image re-enforcement, but that isn’t always to say they are. It shouldn’t be the trainer, who is always supposed to be on your side to put you down. I understand there are some body restrictions for certain sports and those should be met,but they should never get in the way of your health. That is not saying that if someone is obese they shouldn’t became more healthy, but if it is someone who has a heavier body type their coaches/trainers should not be the ones giving them a hard time about it.  

As I go on with this project I wish to learn more about what drives people to do this, what are the reasons they do it, and what they wish to accomplish. I think as an athlete myself this is a problem we should try and direct but not the way that it has already been done, by the famous person who had an eating disorder went to some million dollar rehabilitation center and has got back on the right track. No I think we should address it from a peer standpoint. I have seen trainers/coaches tell their athletes that they should loose weight I have seen the affect and I think it needs to change.

( This picture is the front cover of a movie that has to do with people with eating disorders.)

To see my annotated bibliography, please click here.