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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Mineral and Vitamin Interventions for At-risk Populations

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research Unit

Title: Proper nutrition can prevent negative health outcomes in young female athletes

Authors
item Barrack, Michelle -
item VAN LOAN, MARTA

Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 23, 2011
Publication Date: July 25, 2011
Repository URL: http://ucanr.org/repository/cao/landingpage.cfm?article=ca.v065n03p124&fulltext=yes
Citation: Barrack, M., Van Loan, M.D. 2011. Proper nutrition can prevent negative health outcomes in young female athletes. California Agriculture. 65:124.

Interpretive Summary: Since the onset of Title IX, opportunities have dramatically increased for female athletes, largely to their benefit. However, some negative health outcomes such as disordered eating, chronic menstrual disturbances and low bone mass have been associated with high-level competition among some female athletes, particularly in sports such as gymnastics and cross-country running, where a slender physique or lean body build is important. Adolescent female athletes, in a rapid growth and developmental phase, may be at greatest risk. We sought to identify athletes at risk, understand the etiology of possible negative outcomes and recommend behavioral modifications that promote participation in competitive sports while supporting lifetime health. This review discusses the development and impact of disordered eating and menstrual dysfunction on bone mass in young, competitive, female athletes and provides nutrition recommendations for their energy, carbohydrate, protein, and vitamin and mineral intake.

Technical Abstract: Since the onset of Title IX, opportunities have dramatically increased for female athletes, largely to their benefit. However, some negative health outcomes such as disordered eating, chronic menstrual disturbances and low bone mass have been associated with high-level competition among some female athletes, particularly in sports such as gymnastics and cross-country running, where a slender physique or lean body build is important. Adolescent female athletes, in a rapid growth and developmental phase, may be at greatest risk. We sought to identify athletes at risk, understand the etiology of possible negative outcomes and recommend behavioral modifications that promote participation in competitive sports while supporting lifetime health. This review discusses the development and impact of disordered eating and menstrual dysfunction on bone mass in young, competitive, female athletes and provides nutrition recommendations for their energy, carbohydrate, protein, and vitamin and mineral intake.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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