Dancer’s Death Highlights Prevalence of Eating Disorders in Her Profession

The Boston Ballet believes 22-year-old Heidi Guenther’s recent death resulted from an eating disorder. The 5’3″ dancer weighed 100 pounds, 15 pounds below normal for her height. Her death emphasizes the obsession many individuals in her profession have with staying thin. Studies reveal that eating disorders among professional dancers are twenty times higher than they are among the general public. Expected to weigh 10 to 20 percent below normal standards, dancers have been known to eat Kleenex to keep themselves full without taking in calories. Guenther’s death has prompted the Boston ballet to improve its eating-disorder program, said company spokeswomen Mary Crotty.


San Francisco Chronicle- July 11, 1997

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