New statement on energy deficiency in athletes

Athletes are facing serious health risks from failing to maintain adequate calorie intake during training, experts warn today.

A high-profile position paper is highlighting the risks of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDS).

The condition was first outlined by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2014.

They describe it as “a syndrome of deleterious health and performance outcomes experienced by female and male athletes exposed to low energy availability in relation to exercise energy expenditure.”

Previous research has highlighted low carbohydrate availability as an important factor, and shown evidence of the role of mental health, experts say today.

The condition can cause hormonal problems, loss of periods, erectile dysfunction, and low libido, as well as weakened bones, risk of stress fractures, low iron, depression, cognitive problems and eating disorders.

Now, the 2023 IOC consensus statement on REDs is being published in today’s British Journal of Sports Medicine by IOC Games Group member, Professor Margo Mountjoy and colleagues.

They write: “Our knowledge of REDs signs and symptoms has resulted in updated Health and Performance Conceptual Models and the development of a novel Physiological Model.”

The authors also include guidelines for safe and effective body composition assessment, new training, and an updated REDs Clinical Assessment Tool “to facilitate the detection and clinical diagnosis of REDs”.

Future high-quality research to address important knowledge gaps is also encouraged.

Professor Mountjoy said: “REDs is common in both male and female athletes in many sports, and although we understand a lot more about its causes, awareness of the syndrome and its consequences for health and performance is still low among athletes, their medical and performance support teams, and the general public.”

Mountjoy, M. et al. Consensus Statement: 2023 International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) consensus statement on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs). British Journal of Sports Medicine 27 September 2023 doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2023-106994


, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Monthly Posts

Our Clients

Practice Index