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BACKGROUND: Marching band artists are a physically active population, composed of approximately 27,000 people in the United States. University marching band artists face many of the same physically active demands and mental stressors as student athletes, potentially predisposing them to injury, illness, and risk for eating disorders (EDs). The purpose of this study was to examine ED risk across sex in university marching band artists, and to determine the type of risk based on the Eating Disorder Inventory-3 (EDI-3) and Eating Disorder Inventory-3 Symptom Check List (EDI-3 SC). A secondary aim examined marching band artists and pathogenic weight control behavior use across sex. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study. A total of 150 marching band artists (female: n = 84, male: n = 66, age = 19.9 ± 1.1 years) from three National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I university marching bands participated in the study. We screened for ED risk using the EDI-3, and the EDI-3 SC. RESULTS: Overall, marching band artists were at risk for EDs, using only the EDI-3, 45.3% (n = 68) were at risk, with females at significant higher risk than males [χ = 5.228, p = .022]; using only the EDI-3 SC, 54% (n = 81) were at risk and no significant differences were found across sex. Overall, 48% of all participants reported dieting and 20.7% engaged in excessive exercise to control weight. Significant differences were found between sex and purging to control weight [χ = 3.94, p = .047] and laxative use [χ = 4.064, p = .044], with females engaging in behavior more than males. CONCLUSIONS: Eating disorder risk was prevalent for both female and male marching band artists, with females displaying higher risk for EDs than males. Furthermore, marching band artists are engaging in pathogenic behaviors to control their weight. Healthcare providers (e.g., physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapist, dietitians, etc.) working in this setting should be aware of the risk factors displayed in marching band artists, and be able to provide education, prevention, and clinical interventions to this population. Additionally, marching band administrators should be aware of all medical risk factors and the benefit of having a healthcare provider (e.g., athletic trainer) to oversee the healthcare and wellness of marching band artists.

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Uriegas, N. A., Emerson, D. M., Smith, A. B., Kelly, M. R., & Torres-McGehee, T. M. (2021). Examination of eating disorder risk among university marching band artists. Journal of Eating Disorders, 9(1), 35–35.


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