Revista de Nutrição
Print version ISSN 1415-5273
VILARDI, Teresa Cristina Ciavaglia; RIBEIRO, Beatriz Gonçalves and SOARES, Eliane de Abreu. Nutrition disorders in female athletes and their interrelationships. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2001, vol.14, n.1, pp. 61-69. ISSN 1415-5273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-52732001000100009.
Researches have indicated that the prevalence of nutrition disorders is high among young female athletes engaged in sports that emphasize the importance of leanness and low body weight, such as olympic gymnastics and distance running. In order to understand the etiology of these problems, this review presents the main nutrition disorders in female athletes, including definitions, diagnostic criteria, risk factors, presence of interrelated disorders (anemia, menstrual irregularities and failure of bone mineralization) and their consequences on health and athletic performance. It is fundamental to point out the importance of nutrition on physical performance. The presence of a low body weight and a very restricted energy intake is the principal risk factor for the development of nutritional disturbances. The athletes and their coaches do not have an apropriate knowledge about nutrition, so it is necessary an individualized nutritional orientation to avoid the development of these disturbances.
Keywords : athletes; nutrition disorders; anorexia; bulimia; osteoporosis.