Abstract: The purpose of our study was to study the prevalence of exercise dependence (EXD) among college students and to investigate the role of EXD and gender on exercise behavior and eating disorders. Excessive exercise can become an addiction known as exercise dependence. In our population of 517 college students, 3.3% were at risk for EXD and 8% were at risk for an eating disorder. We used Path analysis the simplest case of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to investigate the role of EXD and exercise behavior on eating disorders. We observed a small direct effect from gender to eating disorders. In females we observed significant direct effect between exercise behavior (r = −0.17, p = 0.009) and EXD (r = 0.34, p < 0.001) on eating pathology. We also observed an indirect effect of exercise behavior on eating pathology (r = 0.16) through EXD (r = 0.48, r2 = 0.23, p < 0.001). In females the total variance of eating pathology explained by the SEM model was 9%. In males we observed a direct effect between EXD (r = 0.23, p < 0.001) on eating pathology. We also observed indirect effect of exercise behavior on eating pathology (r = 0.11) through EXD (r = 0.49, r2 = 0.24, p < 0.001). In males the total variance of eating pathology explained by the SEM model was 5%.
Grajales, Tevni; Meulemans, Shelli; Pribis, Peter; and Krivak, Gretchen, "Gender Differences in Exercise Dependence and Eating Disorders in Young Adults: A Path Analysis of a Conceptual Model" (2014). Faculty Publications. 7.
Retrieved September 15, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245570/pdf/nutrients-06-04895.pdf