1 Obesity Research, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Preventive and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Agder, Kristiansand4 Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, ACT5 University of Toronto6 Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo7 Preventive and Clinical Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Disordered eating behaviour (DE) and eating disorders (EDs) are of great concern due to their associations with physical and mental health risks and, in the case of athletes, impaired performance. The syndrome originally known as the Female Athlete Triad, which focused on the interaction of energy availability, reproductive function and bone health in female athletes, has recently been expanded to recognise that Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) has a broader range of negative effects on body systems with functional impairments in both male and female athletes. Athletes in leanness-demanding sports have an increased risk for RED-S and for developing EDs/DE. Special risk factors in aquatic sports related to weight and body composition management include the wearing of skimpy and tight-fitting bathing suits, and in the case of diving and synchronized swimming, the involvement of subjective judgements of performance. The reported prevalence of DE and EDs in athletic populations including athletes from aquatic sports ranges from 18-45 % in female athletes and 0-28 % in male athletes. To prevent EDs, aquatic athletes should practice healthy eating behaviour at all periods of development pathway, with coaches and members of the athletes' health care team being able to recognize early symptoms indicating risk for energy deficiency, DE and EDs. Coaches and leaders must accept that DE/EDs can be a problem in aquatic disciplines and that openness regarding this challenge is important.
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2014, Vol 24, Issue 4, p. 450-459