In this work package we will focus on promoting young football players’ healthy excellence through the detection of Low Energy Availability (LEA). LEA is a result of an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. The consequence of low availability may be several, notably menstrual irregularity or amenorrea, low bone mineral density and eating problems, previously known as the female athlete triade. In addition other consequences of LEA may be clustered into a syndrome (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S)) comprising psychological aspects like eating problems, depression, and anxiety) as well as metabolic, hormonal and immunological aspects. RED-S may thus account for suboptimal sports performance and compromise overall health and well-being. A possible long term consequence of RED-s may be drop-out from sports. While the prevalence and nature of LEA and RED-S is well known within many sports, less is known about the prevalence and nature of RED-S among female football players. In particular, there is a need to understand the nature of RED-S among young female football players because RED-S may disturb normal pubertal development in terms of for instance body composition. The present project aims to fill this gap of knowledge.


Gunn Pettersen (Principal investigator)