Eating disorders and dissatisfaction with body image in ballet dancers.


Eating disorders (ED) have become an important public health problem. Alongside this fact, there is an increase in the frequency of problems associated with the perception of body image. These eating disorders are more incident in sports practitioners who advocate low body weight as classical ballet.


This study aimed to determine the prevalence of risk behaviors of eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in adolescent ballet dancers in the city of São Luís, MA, Brazil.


A cross-sectional study was conducted with 30 non-professional classical ballet dancers of both sexes, aged between 15 and 19 years. To evaluate the risk behavior of anorexia nervosa, we used the eating attitudes test (EAT-26), and the risk behavior of bulimia nervosa, the Bulimic investigatory test, Edinburgh (BITE). Body image was evaluated using the body shape questionnaire (BSQ).


The prevalence of risk behaviors for eating disorders was 30.0% for anorexia nervosa, according to the EAT-26 and, second the BITE symptom scale, 40.0% had risk behavior of bulimia nervosa. In addition, the BSQ identified that 26.7% of the dancers were dissatisfied with their image. Analyzing the risk behaviors of eating disorders and the body image dissatisfaction by gender, there was no statistically significant difference (p>0.05).


The high incidence of dissatisfaction with the body image associated with the high prevalence of risk behaviors of ED found in this study confirms that the practice of ballet seems to be a primary factor for the increased susceptibility these ballet dancers to develop eating disorders.

Keywords : dancing; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; body image.

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Autor / Fonte:GUIMARAES, Aline Dias; MACHADO, Soraia Pinheiro; FRANCA, Ana Karina Texeira da Cunha and CALADO, Isabela Leal. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2014, vol.20, n.4, pp. 267-271. ISSN 1517-8692.