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Low energy availability
Amateur and recreational athletes
Male and female athletes
Relative energy deficiency in Sport
Sim, A., & Swarup Mukherjee. (2021). Potential Low Energy Availability (LEA) risk amongst amateur and recreational athletes in Singapore. Physical Activity and Health, 5(1), 166-177. http://doi.org/10.5334/paah.120
Physical Activity and Health
Objectives: This study investigated the prevalence of potential Low Energy Availability (LEA) risk amongst amateur and recreational athletes in Singapore.
Design: In this cross-sectional study, a 52-item online questionnaire was used to determine potential LEA risk in the participants. A mean score of ≥4.0 on any of the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) subscale, and/or a global score of ≥4.0, and/or Body Mass Index (BMI) <18.5 kg/m2 were primary measures of potential LEA risk. Other LEA risk correlates included Hooper’s Questionnaire, perceptions on body composition and performance, athlete type (amateur or recreational), type of sport (individual or team), and if they trained with or without a coach.
Participants: 318 participants from Singapore, aged 21–35 years old (124 males; 194 females) completed the study questionnaire.
Results: 34.3% of participants were found to be at potential risk of LEA. Female athletes (44.3%) had a significantly higher (p < 0.001) potential LEA risk than males (18.5%). However, the potential LEA risk between athlete type, type of sport, those who trained with or without a coach were not significantly different (p > 0.316).
Conclusions and Implications: The study found more than one third of the participants being at potential LEA risk. The findings add to the body of evidence on identifying athletes with potential LEA risk. Future studies can investigate the LEA prevalence amongst athletes in Singapore and other Asian populations with more extensive questionnaires that address consequences and symptoms of LEA.
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