Psychological Medicine

Brief Communication

Eating behaviour of male racing jockeys

Michael B. Kinga1 c1 and Gillian Mezeya1

a1 Institute of Psychiatry, London


Jockeys based in racing stables in the Newmarket and Epsom areas of England were screened using the 26-item Eating Attitudes Test. The mean score of the EAT was 14·9, significantly above that reported for males in other studies. The response rate was poor, but 10 jockeys agreed to a full psychiatric and eating interview. The majority of jockeys interviewed reported food avoidance, the use of saunas, and the abuse of laxatives. Diuretics and appetite suppressants were also used. Bingeing was common, but self-induced vomiting was unusual. Current weights were 13% below, and the lowest reported weights 21% below, matched population mean weights. The relationship between these forms of eating behaviour and clinical eating disorders is discussed.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Michael B. King, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF.