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Table 2 Comparison of DE prevalence in athletes of sports classified by activity type. “+” indicates activity type defined as lean

From: Prevalence of disordered eating in athletes categorized by emphasis on leanness and activity type – a systematic review

Author Population Sport Grouping Measures/Analysis Results Interpretation
Krentz et al., 2013 [6] Adolescent athletes from elite sports schools and Olympic training centers (n = 65) +Aesthetic: gymnastics, ice/roller figure skating, ballet, and rhythmic gymnastics Athletes were administered the Emotional Element of Exercise questionnaire. Results were then analyzed using ANOVA. DE in males was measured to significantly decrease over time of one year, while females remained constant Aesthetic sports have higher prevalence of DE in females versus males
Krentz et al., 2011 [9] Elite athletes (n = 96) vs Control (n = 96) with a mean age of 14.0 years +Aesthetic vs Control Cross-sectional study where athletes were administered the EAT-26. Results were then analyzed using ANOVA. Aesthetic athletes had higher prevalence of DE vs control (p < 0.03); female athletes had higher prevalence of DE than male athletes (p < 0.001) Aesthetic sports had higher prevalence of DE; females had higher prevalence of DE than males, but both had similar rate of increased prevalence when compared to a control
Chatterton et al., 2013 [31] United States male college athletes of various levels, mean age 19.91 years (n = 732) +Endurance, +weight-dependent, ball game Athletes were administered the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Q-EDD). Results were then analyzed using X2 analysis. Weight-dependent sports (44.2%) had higher prevalence of DE than Endurance (12.8%) and Ball Game (16.7%) sports (p < 0.001) Strong correlation between male weight-dependent sports and higher prevalence of DE
Kampouri et al., 2019 [32] Greek elite female athletes mean age of 23.10 (n = 129) and female non-athletes (n = 46) Ball Sport vs Non-Athlete
53 Basketball
42 Volleyball
34 Water Polo
46 Non-athletes
Athletes were administered the Eating Disorders Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Results about inter-sport difference were analyzed using ANOVA. Using the EC subscale Water Polo athletes had higher scores than basketball or volleyball (p < 0.05) Water polo had higher prevalence of DE, while other ball sports did not.
Rosendahl et al., 2009 [30] German athletes (n = 576) and non-athletes aged 14–18 (n = 291) Lean (n = 228) vs Non-lean (n = 245)
+Endurance, +Aesthetic, +Weight-Dependent, +Antigravitation, Technical, Ball Game, Power
Athletes were administered the EAT-26 questionnaire. Results were then analyzed using logistic regression, unpaired t-test and X2 analysis. Sport types with significant increase in DE were “Antigravitation” when comparing males and “Power” when comparing females. Power and Antigravitation sports correlate with higher prevalence of DE depending on gender