Female Athlete Triad as a Health Issue



Female athlete triad is often perceived as only happening to athletes though this is not the case, more needs to be known about it so the symptoms can be recognized.

Posted by James Lamper



“Research into the FemaleAthleteTriad (FAT) often posits that the condition is one of the unwanted consequences of increased physical activity and the prevailing preference for a lean body amongfemaleathletes; as well as the result of mounting pressure for constant performance improvement, which is often coupled to a misconception that low body weight would help to achieve this goal.

This paper challenges the prevailing concept of the FAT for being inexact and over-specific, giving the impression that only athletes are affected by this condition, whilst the narrow focus on the co-occurrence of disordered eating–amenorrhea–osteoporosis can potentially lead to incorrect diagnoses of females suffering from, or at risk of developing, the condition. As the common underlying factor in athletes and non-athletefemales suffering from FAT conditions is chronically low energy availability (via increased physical activity and/or disordered or restricted eating), we propose a unified framework that focuses on this common characteristic. Under the umbrella term ‘Female Energy Deficiency’ (FED), the expanded FAT and related concepts such as Anorexia Athletica and atypical eating disorder may be reconciled.

The suggested framework can facilitate the understanding of this convoluted field within and outside the athletic community and offers flexibility for future developments. To support our proposition, we discuss the: i) expansion of the components to capture the extent and depth of this health condition, ii) expansion of the ‘at risk’ population, and iii) effectiveprevention, along with the need for early diagnosis and treatment.”

Written by:

  • Sean Wheatley
  • Saira Khan
  • Andrea D. Székely
  • Declan P. Naughton
  • Andrea Petróczi

From Performance Enhancement and Health, Volume 1, Issue 1 August 2012, Pages 10-27

Original article can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211266912000035