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Factors that Influence Eating Behaviors in Road Racing Cyclists

14 April 2019


The present study investigated how four constructs (fitness orientation, body dissatisfaction, overweight preoccupation, and executive set-switching) may moderate the risk for disordered eating symptoms among a sample (n = 85) of amateur road racing cyclists. The study examined these constructs with road racing cyclists in the State of Oregon during race year 2018. It was hypothesized that the internalization of an athletic lifestyle, body dissatisfaction, and overweight preoccupation would more strongly predict symptoms of disordered eating in this population than inefficient executive function characteristics such as faulty set-switching. Using 3 subscales of the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) and The Trail Making Test B as the independent variables, and the Eating Attitudes Test (Eat-26) total score as the dependent variable, relationships were evaluated with a linear regression. The results indicated that among the participants, the MBSRQ subscale Overweight Preoccupation significantly predicted EAT-26 scores (β = .573, p < .001), while MBSRQ-Fitness Orientation, MBSRQ-Body Areas Satisfaction, and Trail Making Test B showed no significant linear relationships with EAT-26 outcomes. This effect appears to be best explained by an internalized archetypal image of a lean, strong, racing cyclist, even if scores on the EAT-26 did not generally meet the threshold for disordered eating.


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