That's cheating!

Well, this is a new twist: 'Dangerously thin' climbers face ban

What fascinates me is the way it almost sounds as if anorexia is cheating. Like losing weight instead of gaining muscle is akin to some gimmick like using a corked bat or that fancy new swim suit.

FYI: losing weight is not the same thing as being anorexic.
Losing weight can trigger anorexia, however.
You can't "see" anorexia in some one's appearance, it is a mental illness.


  1. I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion about this article that being anorexic implies cheating. But EDs are very common within communities of elite athletes and I would think you'd be supportive of a effort to discuss the issues openly and provide some support to those that want/need help.

    You may not be able to see anorexia exclusively in someone's appearance, but someone's appearance and certain behaviors can provide warning signs.

    In a highly competitive environment where body fat is measured to the decimal and thinness is an outward indication of strength, surely you can see the opportunities the sport provides to reward the anorexic for unhealthy behaviors?

  2. Hi anon 1: I think Laura would say that banning someone from a sport because of low BMI doesn't really address the problem of eating disorders. Someone can have an ED even while their BMI is above the minimum. And if someone does have an ED, it is more important to help them recover from the illness than to worry about maintaining a level competitive playing field.
    Personally, I think once someone has an ED, the illness is so powerful it doesn't need to be rewarded by the opportunities of sport. On the other hand, those rewards can contribute to making recovery more complicated and difficult.
    Anon 2

  3. Anon 2, I agree.

    Anon 1, I apologize - reading my post out of context (of the rest of the blog and my other work) I must have seemed very flippant.

    I absolutely believe sports and society need to take EDs extremely seriously and get help for patients immediately and assertively!

    The tone and content of that article was notable because not only did it confuse low weights with an ED, but it confused an ED with low weights. You can be any weight and suffer horribly from the brain disease of ED.


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