Dancers' Risk for Female Athlete Triad, Disordered Eating, and Changes in Triad Knowledge Following Educational Intervention

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Chicago, IL

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Participants will familiar with the Female Athlete Triad and the rate of which dancers' are at risk as well as their risk for disordered eating. They will also see the results of an educational tool used to teach dancers on the subject. Female dancers are at risk for the female athlete triad (Triad) which is characterized by low energy availability, menstrual irregularity, and decreased bone mineral density. Additionally, dancers’ knowledge of the Triad is low but has been found to improve following Triad educational intervention. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess prevalence of Triad risk factors and changes in Triad knowledge after a 10-minute educational intervention (Triad video) among 24 collegiate dancers (20±2 years). Participants completed the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q) to assess risk for the Triad and the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26) to assess risk for disordered eating. Participants also completed a Triad knowledge questionnaire before and after the intervention. The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test was used to determine change in Triad knowledge with significance accepted at α<0.05. Results indicate 29% (n=7) of participants were at risk for the Triad (LEAF-Q score8) and 29% (n=7) were at risk for disordered eating (EAT-26 score 20 or reporting recent disordered eating behaviors). Triad knowledge increased significantly from pre to post intervention (5.8 1.9 to 8.5 1.2; p<0.001). The results of this research indicate collegiate dancers are at risk for disordered eating and the Triad, and that Triad knowledge was low but significantly increased following the intervention. These results suggest the Triad educational video may be used by nutrition professionals and dance educators as an easy and effective tool to improve dancers’ Triad knowledge and promote behavior change to decrease Triad risk factors.

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