Eating Disorder Patterns Between Ballet Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The desire to possess a perfect body causes the loss of control on eating habits and the development of a preoccupation with appearances is the result. "Once youngsters become aware of how they look it can become quite a consuming interest." (Anorexia linked to child dancers)

The study to establish any connection between childhood dancing and adult eating habits was conducted on five hundred and forty six women in the age group seventeen to fifty five. Each of the participants was questioned on their possibility of dancing in childhood. They also answered questionnaires that were designed to measure disordered eating habits, body image and any signs of depression. Just over one third of the participants answered in the positive regarding dancing during childhood. The results displayed the fact that those that had danced in their childhood showed a greater tendency for bulimic behavior and were more worried about their weight and possessed a greater desire towards perfect looks. The researchers went on to add that although there were no important differences between those that danced in their childhood and those that did not dance in their childhood with respect to their present body mass index, the results indicated that those who had danced in their childhood showed a greater disposition to a smaller ideal or preferred body mass index. (Anorexia linked to child dancers)

Characteristics of Eating Disorders among Young Ballet Dancers:

The characteristics relating to anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa were researched in ballet dancers during full time training and done in comparison with other young women at school. The dancers displayed higher scores on Eating Attitudes Tests. The Dancers also showed a disposition towards eating disorders when strict modified DSM criteria were applied. Dancers were the group that were more prone to have been advised to increase their body weight, but at the same time also were the group that were in greater chances to display fear of losing control on their weight and becoming obese for any attempts to put on weight. Thereby they were more prone to discard the weight gain advice or offer resistance to gaining weight. Four percent of the young ballet dancer reported regular self-induced vomiting. The low body weight and menstrual irregularities as seen among young dancers in training are a display of two characteristics of anorexia nervosa. The behavior pattern as observed in the young ballet dancers was targeted towards weight control and weight loss. This was because the ballet dancers faced pressure to keep their body weight low. (Characteristics of Eating Disorders among Young Ballet Dancers)

Difference between Disordered Eating and Eating Disorders:

Though these two terms sound like they mean the same thing and many a time are confused in their application, there are differences in the meaning of these two terms. The two main differences are that firstly a disordered eating pattern is a habitual reaction to the situations that are faced in life eating disorder is really a disorder related to the mind. The second main difference is that disordered eating is normally accompanied by thoughts that are often related to food, eating and the physical appearance of the individual. Individual who have eating disorders are plagued with thoughts of food, eating and physical appearances. (Sources of disordered eating patterns between ballet dancers and non-dancers)


The article does go into details of the eating disorders of dancers as well as the comparison with non-dancers, yet the addition of the topics provided above would have given it a little more depth and made better reading instead of the depth in technicalities that are provided for more interesting reading.


Abraham, S. (1996) "Characteristics of Eating Disorders Among Young Ballet Dancers." Psychopathology. Vol: 29; No: 4; pp: 223-9. Retrieved at on February 21, 2005

Anorexia linked to child dancers." BBC NEWS. UK Edition. Retrieved at Accessed on February 20, 2005

Anshel, Mark H. (June 1, 2004) "Sources of disordered eating patterns between ballet dancers and non-dancers" Retrieved at on February 21, 2005

Athletes: AAP outlines medical concerns for female athletes" Retrieved at Accessed on February 21, 2005

The Incidence rate of Anorexia in ballet dancers." Retrieved at Accessed on February 21, 2005

Vocks, Silja; Legenbaur, Tanja; Troje Nikolaus; Zumfelde, Milena; Hildenbrand, Sabine. (25-28 August 2004) "Static and dynamic body image and eating disorders among non-professional ballet dancers" Paper presented at the Eighth International Congress of Behavioral Medicine. Mainz, Germany. Retrieved from Accessed on February 20

Cite This Term Paper:

"Eating Disorder Patterns Between Ballet" (2005, February 24) Retrieved August 23, 2017, from

"Eating Disorder Patterns Between Ballet" 24 February 2005. Web.23 August. 2017. <>

"Eating Disorder Patterns Between Ballet", 24 February 2005, Accessed.23 August. 2017,