The long-term impact of an eating disorder prevention program for elite athletes: a follow-up study
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 10:33 by Rachel J. Bar
Elite athletes involved in weight-based sports are at increased risk of developing eating disorders (EDs). While the utility of ED prevention programs has been assessed up to three years post-intervention, it is unclear whether participation in such interventions promotes any resilience against EDs in the long-term. To address this, the current study assessed self-reported disordered eating and body dissatisfaction in ballet dancers 15 or more years after participating in a reportedly successful ED prevention program at a professional ballet school. Graduates of the school before, during, and after the intervention were surveyed, and scores were compared across groups. Results revealed dancers who participated in the intervention and those who attended post-intervention endorsed fewer thoughts and behaviours associated with bulimia, had lower lifetime prevalence of laxative use, and showed a trend toward lower lifetime rates of vomiting to control weight than those who attended the ballet school prior to the intervention.