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'Slim-to-Win' to Injury: How Swimmers' are Engaging with 'Health Risk' Culture due to Entrenched Body Ideals

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McMahon, J ORCID: 0000-0002-1079-8939 and McGannon, KR 2020 , ''Slim-to-Win' to Injury: How Swimmers' are Engaging with 'Health Risk' Culture due to Entrenched Body Ideals', in R Wadey (ed.), Sport Injury Psychology: Cultural, Relational, Methodological, and Applied Considerations , Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 74-84.

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Abstract

Culturally accepted bodies within elite sporting cultures point to entrenched “slim-to-win” ideologies. Consequently, sporting insiders (e.g., coaches, team managers, athletes) perceive “slim” and “fatless” body shapes as a necessary means in order to achieve competitive performance. As such, body practices centring on a “slim-to-win” ideology are practiced through publicly conducted daily weigh-ins, regular skin fold tests, surveillance of athletes’ body shape and eating. As a means of attaining the ideal and culturally accepted shape, athletes’ health and well-being is being compromised within the context of the “slim-to-win” ideology. Indeed, many athletes are becoming injured as they attempt to conform their bodies to a shape which is perceived to enhance competitive performance. Within the present chapter, the focus is on the ways in which one sporting culture (i.e., swimming) has taken up the “slim-to-win” ideology and how, in response, athletes have come to engage with health risk culture (e.g., overdosing on laxative medication; taking illicit substances such as methamphetamines; throwing up after meals; risky medical intervention; overuse injuries). The ways in which long-term health and well-being of athletes is comprised in relation to these practices, in the name of competitive performance, are also of interest.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:McMahon, J and McGannon, KR
Keywords: swimming, injury, eating disorders, health risk
Publisher: Routledge
DOI / ID Number: 10.4324/9780367854997-7
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Sport Injury Psychology: Cultural, Relational, Methodological, and Applied Considerations on 22 November 2020, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9780367854997.

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