Yoga and Pilates: Is there an association with body image and eating disorders

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, reviewed data from Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) — a study of factors that influence eating habits of adolescents.

First, the details.

  • Records from 1,030 young men and 1,257 young women were reviewed.

And, the results.

  • Among women, disordered eating was prevalent in yoga/Pilates participants and nonparticipants, with no differences between the groups.
  • Men participating in yoga/Pilates were significantly more likely to use extreme weight control behaviors (19% vs 7% and binge eating (12% vs 4%) than nonparticipants.
  • There was no relationship with unhealthy weight control behaviors after adjusting for sociodemographics, weight status, and overall physical activity.

The bottom line?

In this study, men were at significant risk of going off the deep end over their body image.

“The findings,” according to the authors, “suggest the importance of helping yoga/Pilates instructors recognize that their students may be at risk for disordered eating.”

10/13/10 21:26 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.