Eating Disorders In Wrestling

1194 Words 5 Pages
Eating disorders are common in sports that require emphasis on an athlete’s physical appearance, size, and weight requirements (NEDA, n.d.). Wrestling is a sport that requires athletes to often times "cut" weight prior to a match. This includes not eating for several days before a match as well as excessive exercise and dehydration. Jeff Reese, a wrestler from Michigan, died on December 9 1997, from kidney failure and a heart malfunction. This happened because he was wearing a rubber suit for a two-hour workout to lose weight while in a 92-degree room. He was trying to drop 12 pounds in one day to make a lower weight class. A month earlier, Joe LaRosa from University of Wisconsin, died wearing a rubber suit in attempt to lose weight. In addition, …show more content…
Although these are worst-case scenario eating disorders, it is an issue that needs attention at all levels of participation. Wrestlers try to lose weight for many different reasons. Some athletes are driven by the improvement of appearance or for better performance. Another reason is that the wrestlers are pressured by coaches or parents to succeed so they choose a lower weight class thinking it has a perceived advantage to win. All these factors contribute to eating disorders in wrestling. However, the athletes drive to compete and win is the main reason for weight loss. The wrestler’s ambition is caused by the community surrounding wrestling, the possibility to gain an advantage over an opponent, and pressure from the coach to fill an empty slot or avoid a more successful …show more content…
In season, wrestlers drop to around 6% or 7% body fat level (Weight 'Cutting ' Waning among College Wrestlers 5). Although these are large motivators that create eating disorders in wrestlers, the only reason they decide to compete in this sport and follow these weight regulations is because of their drive to compete and win.
Some may argue that the reasons wrestlers develop eating disorders is because of the tradition of the sport. Wrestling has been around for a long time. “Drawings of wrestling holds have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2,500 BC, and wrestling was one of the five sports in the first Quadern Olympiad in 776 BC” (Perriello 8). To make wrestling fairer to athletes of all sizes, specific weight classifications were added into the sport. Wrestling has always been associated with strict weight requirements but it was not expected that individuals would go through such extremes to meet these

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