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Annual Meeting
Body Sculpting: When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough
Psychiatric News
Volume 38 Number 9 page 32-32

Highly competitive athletes usually look the part: Their years of training have resulted in well-developed muscles and chiseled bodies devoid of the unsightly fat that many Americans carry around.

So why do some athletes appear to be blind when it comes to seeing how they look in a full-length mirror and think they need to lift more weights, run more miles?

This and other questions will be discussed in a symposium to be held at APA’s 2003 annual meeting in San Francisco titled "Pathological Body Sculpting in the Athlete." The symposium, sponsored by the International Society for Sport Psychiatry (ISSP), will be held Monday, May 19 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room 106 on the exhibit level of the Moscone Center.

The ISSP’s vice president, Antonio Baum, M.D., will chair the session. Speakers include Harrison Pope, M.D., of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., who will present his most recent research on anabolic steroid abuse.

Jon-Jon Park, a former professional body builder and Olympic swimmer and current athletic trainer (formerly the trainer of professional boxer Oscar de la Hoya), will talk about his knowledge of anabolic steroid abuse through the world of body building.

Joan Ryan, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, will talk about the article she was researching that led her to write Little Girls in Pretty Boxes. This book is an account of eating disorders and other difficulties that befall young elite gymnasts and figure skaters. Ryan will discuss in detail one particularly compelling and disturbing case.

Kathy Johnson, a former Olympic gymnast who suffered from an eating disorder, will describe her experiences.

Baum, a professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, will discuss eating disorders in men athletes. She will interview a successful wrestler who lived the subculture of the sport—part of which was significantly disordered eating behavior. ▪

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