Eating disorders may affect some athletes at rates much greater than the general population. Among male athletes, eating disorders are on the rise. Studies show that males participating in sports in which leanness confers a competitive advantage may be at greater risk of eating disorders. No studies have shown that it is possible to prevent eating disorders in at-risk populations. Once present, eating disorders can be challenging to treat. Psychotherapy and medications have been shown to be helpful. A team approach to the treatment of eating disorders should be used, including regular interaction with a dietician, a mental health professional, a team physician, and other professionals as needed. To maintain participation, athletes must partner with the health care team in their treatment, maintain a healthy weight, and be clear in the understanding that their health is a greater priority than their sport.
Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME; Department of Family Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
Address for correspondence: James L. Glazer, M.D., FACSM, Assistant Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, Maine Medical Center, 272 Congress Street, Portland, MN 04101 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).