Investigating the prevalence of low energy availability, disordered eating and eating disorders in competitive and recreational female endurance runners

Article


Dervish, R., Wilson, L. and Curtis, C. 2022. Investigating the prevalence of low energy availability, disordered eating and eating disorders in competitive and recreational female endurance runners. European Journal of Sport Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2022.2079423
TypeArticle
TitleInvestigating the prevalence of low energy availability, disordered eating and eating disorders in competitive and recreational female endurance runners
AuthorsDervish, R., Wilson, L. 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 prevalence of ED, DE or LEA, however limited studies have combined methods identifying risk within female runners. The aim of this study was to identify prevalence of ED, DE and LEA in United Kingdom-based female runners and associations between age, competition level and running distance. 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 n = 524 responses eligible for analysis were received. A total of n = 248 (47.3%), n = 209 (40%) and n = 49 (9.4%) athletes were at risk of LEA, DE and ED, respectively. LEAF-Q scores differed based upon age (Age: H(3) = 23.998, p≤0.05) and competitive level (Comp: H(1) = 7.682, p≤0.05) whereas FAST scores differed based on age (Age: F(3,523) = 4.753, p≤0.05). Tukey's post-hoc tests showed significantly higher FAST scores in 18-24 years compared to all other age categories (p≤0.05). Stepwise multiple regression demonstrated age and competitive level modestly predicted LEAF-Q scores (R2adj = 0.047, F(2,523) = 13.993, p≤0.05, VIF = 1.0) whereas age modestly predicted FAST scores (R2adj = 0.022, F(1,523) = 12.711, p≤0.05, VIF = 1.0). These findings suggest early identification, suitable screening methods and educational intervention programmes should be aimed at all levels of female endurance runners.

KeywordsPhysical activity; menstruation ; nutrition; health
Research GroupPhysiology at the London Sport Institute
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
ISSN1746-1391
Electronic1536-7290
Publication dates
Online02 Jun 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited25 May 2022
Accepted12 May 2022
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Sport Science on 02 June 2022, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17461391.2022.2079423

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2022.2079423
PubMed ID35582863
Web of Science identifierWOS:000805383600001
LanguageEnglish
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