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Consensus statement adopted on the Female Athlete Triad

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09/11/2005

In its role of promoting the health of athletes, the IOC Medical Commission (MC) held a working group meeting on the Female Athlete Triad in Lausanne from 7-8 November 2005. Coordinated by Barbara Drinkwater, Ph.D., member of the IOC MC Medical and Scientific Group, and Dr Patricia Sangenis, M.D., chair of the IOC MC Working Group on Women and Sport, the meeting brought together a group of experts in order to create awareness and to look into the most reliable methods of prevention and treatment for the Female Athlete Triad.
At the end of its two-day meeting, the working group adopted a consensus statement on the consequences of the Triad on the health of female athletes (see below).
 
What is the female athlete triad?
 When a female athlete’s energy intake is inadequate to meet energy expenditure, the reproductive cycle can be disrupted, and amenorrhea may result. Other female athletes may respond to pressure to meet unrealistic weight or body fat levels with excessive dieting. In both instances, the unintended effect can be a cascade of events labeled the Female athlete triad. Inadequate nutrition for a women’s level of physical activity often begins a cycle in which disordered eating, amenorrhea and osteoporosis occur in sequence.  
 
The role of the IOC Medical Commission
 With the establishment of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the IOC Medical Commission’s role has moved from primarily handling anti-doping activities in the world of sport to taking an active role in the promotion of the health of athletes. In this objective, a series of consensus meetings have been scheduled covering the following issues:
 
·        Sports Nutrition 2003
·        Sudden Cardiovascular death in Sport 2004
·        Female athlete Triad 2005
·        Training the Elite Child Athlete 2005
 

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