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Young Athletes and the Challenge of Eating Disorders


Participating in sports has a lot of significant advantages for kids. Young athletes get the chance to not only exercise but also get opportunities to socialise with their peers. Participating in group sports improves kids' self-esteem alongside instilling leadership and teamwork qualities in the growing kids.

However, one standard issue most parents and coaching staff attest to encountering is that of eating disorders among young sportspersons. In most cases, kids find themselves under intense pressure to perform at top levels. This pressure pushes kids to the edge, resulting in eating disorders.

Performance enhancers such as S
amento can be introduced once young sportsmen and women get older and turn pro. At this level, they can use them to complement their training and diet. Nonetheless, a keen eye on how they use performance enhancers is vital to avoid abuse.

A Little Info on Eating Disorders

Many times parents misjudge eating disorders and are quick to sweep the matter under the rug. An eating disorder is a health condition. It is typified by an unhealthy appetite for food or obsession with weight and looks.

There are two major types of eating disorders. The first kind is anorexia. With anorexia, one is obsessed with an extreme fear of gaining weight to the extent of skipping meals. The second is bulimia, which is the opposite of anorexia. Under this condition, the victim eats enormous amounts of food all at once. Then, people suffering from bulimia purge themselves of the food or refuse to eat.

Eating Disorders and Sports

Research shows that girls are the most affected. This, of course, doesn't mean boys aren't affected. They are too. The number one reason that triggers eating disorders in girls engaged in sports is the desire to have leaner bodies to perform better on the pitch. Similarly, the zeal to improve in individual sports such as tennis or swimming can bring about eating disorders in young athletes.

Often kids are misguided by the idea that having a thinner or leaner body will make them a more excellent athlete. Coaches can also pressure kids to engage in unhealthy eating habits. Low self-esteem and pressure from family and friends to drop or add some weight can also push young people over the edge into eating disorders.

As a Parent or Guardian, What Can You Do?

The buck always stops with you as a parent or guardian whenever you notice unhealthy eating habits in your kid. Ensure that you give your son or daughter love and support; this builds confidence levels and a sense that they are appreciated.

Parents can give good advice on the proper ways through which young athletes can improve their performance. This can be done by developing a healthy training routine complemented by a healthy diet. Moreover, keep a keen eye on the young athlete’s peers and the type of influence the young athlete gets from them. Make sure peers are offering a positive impact on diet, weight, and performance.

As a parent, it is essential to carefully watch your kids’ eating patterns for any signs of eating disorders. Some of the symptoms may include significant weight gain or weight loss, overtraining and even missed periods in older girls. If you have any concerns about your kids’ health, you should seek medical assistance.

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