Malnutrition due to sports


Hannah Weaver, Writer

Malnutrition is described as either eating too little or not enough. Eating too little can result in a caloric shortfall in the body and is a leading cause of death. It is important for teens to make sure they are well fed. Otherwise, those who are malnourished are not capable of developing fully (physically or mentally.) 

“Female Athlete Triad Syndrome,” according to Smithsonian Magazine, is a problem that comes from disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. A woman can have just one of these, two, or all three conditions. “With symptoms like irregular menstruation, low energy or bone density.” It can also cause bones to fracture or break easier because of not eating enough to balance the calories burned while working out.

A study by Science Direct, compared runners, rowers, and boxer’s malnourishment levels. Weight loss was reported to have “reduced effects on performance when lower than 5% of body weight.” The study also showed that none of their subjects were below the critical value of 10% body weight loss. A lot of weight loss can depend on lack of water/dehydration, one of the most common ways athletes will diet to lose weight

“The most common nutrition issues center around getting adequate energy to meet the energy demands of a sport.” the Gatorade Sports Science Institute stated. “Research frequently reports that women athletes have energy intakes that do not match their high level of energy expenditure.” 

Some key points were made such as low energy intakes increase the risk of fatigue, injuries and illness, poor nutritional status, menstrual dysfunction and a lack of overall improvement.

Malnutrition in sports has become an increasingly obvious, with the regularity of extreme dieting and exercise to be the best, professionals are hoping to break this habit in athletes creating a safe environment for sports.