Eating disorders can be present in some forms of sport that have a focus on weight (including weight category sports such as boxing, rowing, and horse riding) or sports where body shape is important (such as jumping, gymnastics, and ballet).
Athletic performance also focuses on nutritional intake and training schedules which, in some very competitive or perfectionistic athletes, can lead to or maintain eating disorders. Eating disorders impact on everyone’s physical health but are particularly dangerous in athletes since energy expenditure is very high, therefore leading to poor bone health, protein synthesis, and heart health.
Physical assessment of fitness and early treatment is essential in supporting an athlete with an eating disorder. There will sometimes be a requirement to suspend sport for health reasons until they are seen as medically fit to participate.