n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Eating disorders among university student-athletes and physical activity - : health and physical activity

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Eating disorders among athletes is an alarming issue, much deserving of the interest it has enthused among researchers. Therefore this study was conducted to contribute to the understanding and awareness of eating disorders among university student-athletes. A purposive sample of university student-athletes at two universities in the Gauteng province of South Africa was drawn. The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), the SCOFF questionnaire together with a biographical questionnaire was distributed among the university student-athletes. The EAT-26 proved to be reliable in this study. Low scores were evident on the EAT-26, indicative of a low prevalence of eating problems among the student-athletes. The majority of the student-athletes scored high on the SCOFF questionnaire suggesting they have issues with food or body image, or eating disorders. Notable from this study was that the majority of the student-athletes felt that they did not receive any pressure from their coaches to lose weight. Healthy relationships between student-athletes and coaches, family, friends and teammates may lessen the risk of eating disorders among the student-athletes.

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