Jockeys' Diet Leads To Eating Disorders
A team of scientists from Brunel University in London examined jockeys' diets and weight loss methods before races and its affect on their mental health.
Jockeys need to maintain light weight during the race periods and they use various methods to loose weight, such as saunas, fasting, and dieting. Standard minimum rate for a rider and a saddle together is 110lb and the maximum is 140lb. This means that both minimums are lower than average standard for an adult man: minimum rate is 80lb lower and the maximum rate is 50lb lower.
Study examined 41 adult jockeys of average ages 31 and found that they had mood disorders, such as anxiety, anger, and depression during preparing to race period and fasting. 6 of them were suffering from eating disorders.
The study also found that flat jockeys are dieting more and need lighter weight than the others. Since 1979 the average weight for flat jockeys increased by 6%, meanwhile the average age for apprentice jockeys was increased by 37%.
The study says: "Researchers have reported that jockeys suffer constant dehydration, inadequate body fat and bone density, and an increased risk of osteoporosis. According to the researchers, jockeys should be given more psychological support as they try to reach lower and lower weights. Governing bodies must continue to explore the possibility of increasing the minimum riding weight."