Prevalence of disordered eating, eating disorders and risk of low energy availability in professional, competitive and recreational female athletes based in the United Kingdom

Article


Sharps, F., Wilson, L., Graham, C. and Curtis, C. 2022. Prevalence of disordered eating, eating disorders and risk of low energy availability in professional, competitive and recreational female athletes based in the United Kingdom. European Journal of Sport Science. 22 (9), pp. 1445-1451. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1943712
TypeArticle
TitlePrevalence of disordered eating, eating disorders and risk of low energy availability in professional, competitive and recreational female athletes based in the United Kingdom
AuthorsSharps, F., Wilson, L., Graham, C. and Curtis, C.
Abstract

Eating disorders (ED), disordered eating (DE) and low energy availability (LEA) can be detrimental to health and performance. Previous studies have independently investigated the prevalence of ED, DE or LEA; however, few combined methods have identified risk within female athletes. The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of ED, DE and LEA in UK-based female athletes and investigate whether associations exist between age, competition level and primary sport.The Female Athlete Screening Tool (FAST) and Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q) were used in a cross-sectional study design. A total of 112 responses eligible for analysis were received. A total of 16%, 44% and 53% of female athletes were at risk of ED (FAST:>94), DE and LEA, respectively. Competition level (recreational, competitive or professional athletes; fishers, p ≤ 0.05) influenced and was a predictor of FAST (R2= 0.076, F(1,110) = 10.067, p ≤ 0.05, variance inflation value; VIF = 1.0) whereas age influenced (age: H(2) = 13.128, p ≤ 0.05), and was a predictor (R2 = 0.144, F(2,109) = 9.170, p ≤ 0.05, VIF = 1.0) of LEAF-Q. A positive correlation was observed between FAST and LEAF-Q scores (R = 0.496, p ≤ 0.05). Age and competition level may be predicting risk factors of ED/DE and LEA within female athletes; however, further research is required to support the findings of this present study.

KeywordsEating disorders; female athletes; nutrition; sport; RED-S
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
ISSN1746-1391
Electronic1536-7290
Publication dates
Online16 Jul 2021
Print02 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Jul 2021
Accepted13 Jun 2021
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Sport Science on 13/07/2021, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17461391.2021.1943712.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1943712
Web of Science identifierWOS:000673300100001
LanguageEnglish
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