132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Assessing weight management behaviors of high school wrestlers

Sara J. Camaerei, PsyD, Department of Psychology, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, 4190 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19120, 570-992-5755, camdog@epix.net and Steven Godin, PhD, MPH, Center for Community Research & Development, East Stroudsburg University, 200 Prospect St, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301.

In the sport of high school wrestling, many athletes attempt to achieve and maintain the lowest weight possible with the understanding that doing so will make them more competitive. A 19-item “Self-report Weight Management Questionnaire” and the “Eating Attitudes Test-26” were used to assess a wide range of weight management behaviors and attitudes towards weight management in male high school wrestlers (N=128), ages 14-19, from 11 northeastern Pennsylvania public high schools. In this study, 17.2% indicated they experienced significant difficulties each week in “making weight” (maintaining their weight class) for competition. Almost all participants in the study reported using some form of unhealthy weight maintenance, or potentially harmful weight reduction behavior. Examples of these findings are as follows: almost 50% reported wearing plastic or rubber suits or wrapping themselves in plastic garbage bags at least once per week to induce sweating to reduce water weight prior to weighing-in; 21% reported using saunas, or steam rooms weekly to reduce weight; 13% indicated routine use of diet pills; 14% reported using high doses of Vitamin C to induce body fluid loss; 11% reported using self-induced vomiting after eating; and 2% indicated they donated blood as a weight reduction strategy. In terms of unhealthy cognitions, 30% of the respondents indicated they were unable to control their eating binges, while 28% reported repeated cognitions about being thinner. The findings are discussed within the context of healthy adolescent development, and the culture of the sport which encourages unhealthy weight management, and eating behaviors.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Weight Management, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Physical Activity in the Nation's Schools

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA