UC San Diego Athletic Performance Nutrition Guide

Disordered Eating


 “There is a fine line between dedication and obsession”

-Source unknown


  • Anyone can suffer from an eating disorder despite race, age or gender.
  • Eating disorders develop when eating, or not eating becomes a way of life and a way to cope with problems.
  • May have some or all of the following traits:  Drive for perfection, desire of control, compulsive behavior, feeling of inadequacy, difficulty having fun, or trouble with intimate relationships.
  • Disordered eating prevents a person from getting enough nutrients or calories to support their body, causing many consequences from deficient nutrients.


Two common eating disorders:


Anorexia Nervosa:

-Characterized by people who either consistently restrict food or restrict and then binge and purge.

-Has a distorted body image and an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat.


Signs and Symptoms:

-Constant dieting

-Weight loss

-Consider them “fat” regardless of size.

-May exercise excessively and constantly.

-Women may have a loss of their menstrual cycle of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles.

-Loss of hair

-Avoidance of eating in public



-Osteoporosis (Brittle bones)

-Loss and weakness of muscle

-Severe dehydration/electrolyte imbalance

-Overall weakness

-Loss or thinning of hair on head

-Increase body hair

-Dry Mouth

-Increase in tooth decay

-Even cardiac arrest/death

-Decreased immune system


Bulimia Nervosa:

-Characterized by an uncontrollable urge to overeat at one sitting and then may purge by vomiting, laxative use, fasting or excessive exercising.


Signs and Symptoms:

-Secretly eating large amounts of foods


-Obsessed with food

-Weight fluctuates between 2-3 pounds

-Tooth erosion due to vomiting

-Callused knuckles


-Bloodshot eyes

-Weakness, headaches, dizziness




-Inflammation of esophagus

-Diabetes later in life



Eating disorders can become a serious issue, for further information or to discuss concerns you may have about yourself or a friend, please call Student Health Central Scheduling at 858-534-8089. (For registered UCSD Students Only)




Information supplied by: 


UC San Diego Athletic Intercollegiate Athletics


Megan Mangano, UNH B.S. in Nutritional Sciences


Clark, Nancy, MS, RD.  Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 2nd Edition.  1997.  Brookline, MA:  Nancy Clark.


Rosenbloom, Christine A., PhD, RD, Editor.  ADA: Sports Nutrition: A Guide for the Professional Working with Active People, 3rd Edition.  2000.  Chicago, Illinois: The American Dietetic Association.