Opinion: Wrestling encourages eating disorders

Mateya McCord, Reporter

Before a match, wrestlers try to cut off as much weight as possible so they can go against the lightest weight class they can. Losing weight fast, for example sitting in a steam room, running, just drinking water and simply not eating is very common for wrestlers trying to lose weight. This all starts to become normal for these wrestlers and they can get caught up in an illusion that is unhealthy.

An eating disorder is when eating, exercising and body weight becomes a health problem and major concern in someone’s life. Wrestlers work hard to cut their weight in time for their next weigh in which is a worry for their health. According to Opro Mouthguards, cutting weight is unhealthy because wrestlers can get dehydrated which could lead to troubled endurance, dizziness, lightheadedness and fatigue.

Wrestling should not be a sport where athletes have to put themselves at risk. A sport should be fun for the athlete participating in it and, in my opinion, a sport is not fun when you are not getting enough food in your body to be active enough to even participate. Getting enough food in your body is very important so you can have energy for school, work and other activities. 

Instead of not eating or taking laxatives, wrestlers should try a more healthy weight loss method. Eating a balanced diet that supplies calories to support growth, daily activity and drinking enough water to maintain an appropriate state of hydration would be an example of a healthy weight loss method. If a healthy diet does not work for wrestlers, they should not be forced to sit in a sauna or do something extra to cut weight off their body. When being forced to lose a certain amount of weight in a short amount of time, it is not healthy and could lead to depression and other health issues. 

According to Stanford Children’s Health, young athletes tend to be at a greater risk for having an eating disorder if they play sports that focus on personal performance, appearance, diet and weight requirements. The main sports that eating disorders take a toll on are swim and dive, bodybuilding, wrestling, gymnastics, running, cheer and dance.

Wrestlers have to meet their goal weight which tends to have lots of effects when eating food on the daily. Every wrestler has different overall goals and their weight management plan should reflect their goals. No matter the goal the wrestler has to face, it should not be forced upon them and they should still be getting enough healthy food and exercise.