Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Joan Piroch


In the past several decades, eating disorders have become more common in athletes, particularly those competing in lean sports such as distance running. The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of disordered attitudes towards eating in male and female collegiate distance runners. Participants were 52 male cross-country runners with a mean age of 20.77 and 44 female cross-country runners with a mean age of 19.73. All subjects attended NCAA Division I universities in the southeastern United States. The researcher hypothesized that males and females would score similarly on the EAT-26. Females scored significantly higher on the EAT-26, a result that did not support the hypothesis. However, all subjects scored very low, indicating that none were at risk for developing an eating disorder. Males and females scored similarly in that neither group had pathogenic scores. The researcher suggests several areas for future research and emphasizes the importance of education and awareness in the identification of eating disorders in athletes.