The Physician and Sportsmedicine
Eating Disorder Dynamics
When evaluating an athlete for disordered eating or the female athlete triad, remember that the pathology is not always centered in the athlete. We had a coach who was telling athletes, "Every pound you gain will add 30 seconds to a minute to your time." Disordered eating, amenorrhea, and stress fractures were the result for at least one athlete. The coach was part of the pathology: When that stress was removed, the athlete gained weight, started menstruating, healed her fractures, and began setting personal bests.
MATTHEW ROUSH, MD