Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Kinesiology and Recreation
BACKGROUND: Low energy availability is a topic of concern for recreational and elite athletes alike due to its negative impact on both physiology and performance. The introduction of the Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport model by the International Olympic Committee in 2014 highlighted the widespread effects of poor fueling on an athlete’s overall health. Unfortunately, RED-S is not typically detected until the athlete has already suffered significant health or performance detriments from inadequate calorie intake. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of risk factors associated with RED-S among collegiate athletes and evaluate the potential need for further RED-S screening and intervention measures at the university level. METHODS: The participants include 38 collegiate athletes who participate at the NCAA Division I level. The study involves two methods of data collection: a survey and a bone density scan. The survey was distributed electronically using Qualtrics and bone density was evaluated by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Responses were summarized and analyzed using a series of one-way ANOVA’s. RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: The results from the survey and the DXA scans indicate the presence of RED-S among the subjects, with 64.5% of female participants (n=31) scoring above the cutoff for increased RED-S risk. Those with greater days missed due to injury and illness tended to have higher LEAF-Q scores than those who had fewer absences; however, the findings were not statistically significant (all p > 0.05). These findings underscore the need for coaches, trainers, and practitioners to identify and monitor athletes who are particularly at risk for RED-S, helping to ensure the health and safety of the athletes during their collegiate careers and beyond.
Metz, Hope K., "Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) Risk Factors Among Collegiate Athletes" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 1562.