Ballet dancers (n = 60) in full-time ballet training and school students (n = 216) completed questionnaires relating to body weight and eating behaviour. Dancers were at lower body weight and had less body fat. Dancers considered they were more preoccupied with thoughts of eating and body weight, felt they had greater difficulty controlling their body weight, used and abused laxatives for weight control, and reported disordered eating more than school students. Two-thirds of dancers and students were currently using at least one method of weight control, dancers favouring not eating between meals, and students exercise. Both groups reported binge eating and using multiple methods to control this behaviour. The pressure for dancers to be at below average weight affects their eating and weight controlling behaviours and their life-style.

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