By: Psychologist Diana Sosa member of the Medical WBC Committee
Can a boxer suffer from Eating Disorders? The answer is YES. It is well known that in the world of boxing, inappropriate methods and techniques are used for weight management.
The boxer on many occasions places rapid loss of immediate weight over their health and uses empirical methods without the supervision of a health professional. These actions put him in a highly vulnerable situation to suffer from some type of eating disorder, since the line between performing risky behaviours on a recurring basis and presenting the disorder as such is very thin.
The entire team that surrounds the boxer must be aware of some behaviors that could be considered risky. Warning signs could be: stopping eating and becoming dehydrated for a fight, wrapping yourself in plastic or suits to sweat, way too much time in the sauna, overtraining, use of diuretics and laxatives, binge eating after weigh-in, eliminating some food group (carbohydrates for example), eating small amounts, resorting to pills of dubious origin, frequently looking in the mirror and getting on the scale indiscriminately several times a day.
Although not everyone who presents these behaviors will develop an eating behavior disorder, they could be in the prelude stage and trigger one, due to their bad habits’ frequency and intensity.
It is important that the boxers surround themselves with health professionals to avoid this type of practice that could trigger disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, orthorexia, bigorexia, among others.