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How Do Cheerleading Outfits Influence Eating Disorders?

College cheerleaders are prone to eating disorders, and how severe their disordered eating becomes partly depends on how revealing their cheerleading costumes are, according to research from the University of South Carolina.

Prof. Toni Torres-McGehee and her colleagues found that 33% of the 136 college cheerleaders in their study had eating disorders, compared to less than 5% of all female college students. However, if their cheerleading team had a costume that reveals the midriff, they were most likely to have an eating disorder.

"Teams and coaches should consider the long-term effect of requiring cheerleaders to wear revealing uniforms simply for aesthetic reasons," Dr. Torres-McGehee said in a report presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Labels: college_students, body image, influences

Posted By: Jane St. Clair


Kensington on 9/9/2010
I can believe it. It's hard enough to be a teenage girl and wonder if your body is "ok". Wearing outfits that show your waistline add to that fear, and in turn can add to dangerous dieting. I also remember being intimidated by the flat abs of the cheerleaders in middle school and high school, as I knew my body didn't match up.