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Safety and Welfare Supporting Specific Needs

Myths about Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are common and serious psychiatric disorders but are often poorly understood. In the second part of this series exploring disordered eating, this infographic developed with Dr Carolyn Plateau, Senior Lecturer in Psychology from Loughborough University, highlights the common myths about eating disorders and disordered eating in participants involved in physical activity and sport


How many did you know were myths about eating disorders? 


Who’s at risk?

  • Sport participants of all levels are at an increased risk of eating problems compared to non-athletes.  
  • About 40% of athletes show symptoms of disordered eating, and up to 1 in 5 female athletes and 1 in 12 male athletes may experience a clinical eating disorder during their career. This is much higher than the levels of disordered eating and eating disorders that we see in non-athletes. 
  • There are lots of different causes of eating problems; they are usually caused by a combination of biological, psychological, social and environmental factors, including pressures around weight, shape and appearance.


Consider sharing the myths and truths about eating disorders with other coaches, parents and the wider coaching team within your club or training environment to encourage understanding and awareness about eating disorders and disordered eating.


Learn more about Disordered Eating

Improve your knowledge and understanding of eating problems so you have the confidence to identify issues and react appropriately if you have concerns about an athlete.

View the full seven-part series

Discounted Online Course

To learn more about supporting participants with eating disorders complete the CIMPSPA and CPD UK-accredited online course from Loughborough University. Subscribe to access a 51% discount on the course.

Find Out More

Related Resources

  • What is Food Literacy and Why is it Important?

  • Adding Food to the Mix

  • Person-Centred Coaching – Understanding


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