The Relationship Between Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorder Among Exercisers (Part 8)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sue-Yee Tan, Wan-Ping Yew

1.9 Exerciser Correlated with Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorder
Previously, people exercised mainly to promote health benefits (Ogden, 2010). However, the intentions involved in exercising have been altered to fit different purposes that vary among people. It is not surprising that exercisers often say that their motive for exercising is to reduce body fat in order to achieve the ‘ideal’ body shape rather than the initial motive to maintain good health. According to Smeets, et. al., (2011), a latest study reported that training participants who have self-defined unattractive body parts enhanced feelings of dissatisfaction with their bodies. According to Oliveira et. al., (2003), results showed no significance of eating disorders among athletes; however, the study claimed that there is a worrying trend of mild body image distortion occurring among athletes associated with excessive physical exercise, which was identified as partial eating disorder syndrome.
A study by Tiggemann and Williamson (2000), showed a positive relationship between exercise and well-being in a sample size of people aged between 16 to 60 years old for both genders. However, a negative relationship was found for a particular aged group; those between 16 to 21 years old seem to have decreased body satisfaction and self-esteem as the amount of time they exercised increased. Also, the study indicated that women exercised more for weight control and muscle toning as compared to their male counterparts, they often exercised due to body dissatisfaction and this pattern would predictably continue in the future (Tiggemann &Williamson, 2000). Moreover, a study done by Krane et. al (2001), showed that exercisers gave themselves too much pressure to maintain minimal fat in their bodies. They engaged in excessive exercise if they ate too much food in a particular day. Hence, the exercisers in the study have a desire to pursue an unrealistic body shape.
To date, little research has been done with exercisers associated to the level of body dissatisfaction felt and eating disorders. Hence, the present study is to examine whether high levels of eating disorder caused by body dissatisfaction among those who exercise at least two hours per week.


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