An Athletic Coaches’ Information Guide: to the Early Identification, Prevention and Management of Eating Disorders Among Female Athletes
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The research focused on the area of eating disorders among female athletes. The study looked at how college/university level coaches can contribute to the decrease in the prevalence rates of disordered eating (DE) and/or eating disorders (EDs) among female athletes. In order to reduce future prevalence rates of DE/EDs among female athletes, this study developed “an athletic coaches’ information guide: to the early identification, prevention and management of eating disorders among female athletes”. The study is based on a qualitative meta-analysis by gathering pertinent information and data from a collection of research literature on eating disorders among female athletes. Upon reviewing the research literature on DE/EDs among female athletes, the studies found high rates of diagnosable eating disorders and disordered eating among female athletes, elite female athletes and female athletes competing in thin-build and weight dependent type sport groups. Based on these findings, it is imperative that the professionals working with these athletes are aware of the high prevalence rates. Coaches’ work closely with athletes on a daily basis and are in positions to prevent, intervene and manage female athletes with DE/EDs throughout the training and competition seasons. This information guide will be a convenient resource tool for coaches’ to refer to, when disordered eating and/or eating disorder concerns arise among their female athletes. The athletic coaches’ information guide provides relevant and pertinent educational assistance for coaches’. It is recommended for a future study to produce the athletic coaches’ information guide into a pamphlet format and be distributed to all college and university level coaches of female athletes in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. It is assumed that the coaches’ utilization of the athletic coaches’ information guide will serve as an impetus for the development of further eating disorder education and training programs in athletic departments. It is further recommended that athletic departments become active participants in establishing policy and regulations that call for mandatory attendance at annual eating disorder information sessions for all sport personnel and athletes.