Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating in Competitive Cycling: A Scoping Review

Charlie Roberts, Howard Hurst, Jack Hardwicke

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


This article reports on the findings from a scoping review on eating disorders and disordered eating in competitive cycling. The review was informed by a scoping review methodological framework as well as the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR) reporting guidelines. PubMed, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science were used to identify relevant literature for review. Fourteen studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in the full review. A narrative synthesis was used to summarise the main findings and themes across the included literature. Findings from the review are presented under the following themes: cycling as an ‘at-risk’ discipline; power to weight ratio; energy requirements and risk of low energy availability; the social environment of cycling; nutrition support provision; relationship between eating disorders/disordered eating and exercise addiction; and recommendations made in identified literature. Overall, the literature suggests competitive cycling is a sport with a high prevalence of disordered eating and/or eating disorders and a sport with unique risk factors that contribute to this. Crucially, more research is needed in this area. The article concludes with the gaps in the literature highlighted, implications for future research, and applications to policy and practice suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Article number490
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number12
Early online date2 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022


  • eating disorders
  • disordered eating
  • competitive cycling
  • eating behaviours


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