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Risk of developing eating disorders through the misperception of the body image and the adoption of bad eating habits in a sample of young volleyball athletes

Published on: 8th March, 2021

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 8980363455

Objective: This preliminary study focused on the description of some dysfunctional perceptions of the body image and eating habits in a sample of young. Methods: The results obtained by 55 amateur and professional volleyball players belonging to volleyball sports clubs located in the province of Reggio Emilia were examined. The age of the sample is in a range between 11 and 44 years. The participants completed the Pisa Survey for Eating Disorders (PSED), a questionnaire aimed at examining eating behavior and the perception of one’s body image. The athletes’ height and body weight were subsequently detected through direct measurement. Conclusion: The data collected through the self-evaluation questionnaire and the measurements carried out by the study made it possible to analyze the perception of the body image and the eating habits of the volleyball players belonging to the sample and to compare them with the data in the literature. The data, albeit preliminary, allow us to confirm the existence of the discrepancy between the real body image and the desired one, in a group of young athletes, who favors the adoption of non-adaptive coping strategies to control one’s own weight and body shapes typical of the vicious circle - strict diet, bingeing episodes, compensatory behaviors - which characterizes eating disorders (ED). It is therefore considered essential that body image assessment is a practice implemented in the assessment routine of these athletes, especially in consideration of the fact that body image disturbance is a very common feature in this category and is one of the main risk factors of EDs.
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