MP2 Sports | Disorderly Conduct

The highest profile athletes often are revered as the standard for beauty and the prototypical body type. When thinking of the ideal body type, individuals often conjure up an image of the most popular athlete in a chosen sport. LeBron James, Bryce Harper, Serena Williams.

However, attempting to gain the ideal body type does not come without a price.

A recent Yale co-authored study found that disordered eating habits are seen in 25 percent of female collegiate athletes, via One in every four athletes in college struggle with an eating disorder. Without a doubt, the image that society constructs of athletes helps contribute to this need to meet an unrealistic standard.

This problem does not just apply to college. High school athletes struggle with eating disorders as well. A survey of 170 female student-athletes between the ages of 13 and 18 at six Southern California high schools revealed that 18 percent experienced disordered eating, via This is 18 percent too many.

ESPN does an admirable job in trying to dispel the unrealistic expectation of athletes perpetuated by the media, coaches and even parents. Every year, The Body Issue showcases a bigger athlete. Prince Fielder, Vince Wilfork and Amanda Bingson are a few who have been featured in this way. These athletes with “not so ideal” bodies are positive influences, and they are doing the younger generation a great service.

Steroid abuse is another way that some athletes try to obtain the body they desire. The highest profile steroid cases are publicized all over the place, but the abuse of steroids at the high school level is one that goes almost unnoticed. This is because of the lax drug testing rules at the high school level. It is estimated that between three and 12 percent of high school athletes abuse performance enhancing drugs, via Often these drugs are life ruining and leave lasting negative effects on the athlete’s body and organs.

Regardless of the method that an athlete takes to attempt to gain the “perfect” body, despite the athlete’s gender or race, steroid abuse and eating disorders are serious problems that need to be addressed more in high school sports.