The Sci-Files – 08/09/2020 – Ryley Mancine and Donald Gusfa – Disordered Eating in Athletes

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

Donald Gusfa (left) and Ryley Mancine (right)
Donald Gusfa (left) and Ryley Mancine (right)

On this week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts Chelsie and Danny interview Ryley Mancine and Donald Gusfa, students in the MSU College of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine.
Disordered eating, a subclinical spectrum of abnormal eating behaviors that can lead to eating disorders, is a significant problem among athletes. During adolescence, athletes experience a rapid change in body shape and composition. Following these changes, demands to meet sport-specific body ideals may lead to the development of disordered eating. Additionally, not all athletes have a body that fits the sport-specific ideal and may experience pressure to achieve this ideal body type. A common belief in many endurance sports is that performance will improve with weight loss, as some athletes are initially able to perform well following weight loss and use of pathogenic weight control behaviors. However, this behavior frequently leads to eating disorders. Early identification to prevent the devastating consequences of eating disorders is essential. This research is designed to develop and validate the Disordered Eating Screen for Athletes (DESA-6). The DESA- 6 is a six-question screening tool meant to identify athletes at risk for disordered eating, which may progress to clinical health complications as mentioned above. The Disordered Eating Screen for Athletes (DESA-6) would permit clinicians, dietitians, coaches, and athletic trainers to quickly and easily screen athletes of all levels who may be at risk for disordered eating behaviors.
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