One way we can make significant progress in addressing eating disorders in schools, is to educate athletes, coaches and trainers about the Female Athlete Triad. In particular, there are certain elements that could eventually prevent onset of Female Athlete Triad altogether.
According to Karen Sossin, MS, CDN -- Program Director for NORMAL nonprofit's Female Athlete Triad Awareness and Prevention Program -- "The triad is composed of three distinct, yet seemingly interrelated disorders: disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. In the 9 years since the first Triad position stand was published, a significant amount of research has been completed."
According to Sossin, new research indicates that -- rather than focusing education on the extreme end-point of each disorder (clinical eating disorders, amenorrhea or osteoporosis) "it is incredibly useful to teach about low energy availability (proper nutrition) and the triggers, risk factors and consequences of disordered eating patterns."
In the last decade we know more about evidence based strategies to promote and build a healthy body image, a critical factor in the onset of low energy availability. We also know a great deal about the use of mindfulness and meditation in increasing body acceptance.
By focusing educational efforts on these types of messages, educators and coaches could help to seriously enhance body esteem among female athletes and prevent onset of Female Athlete Triad.
Working with the leading professionals in athletics, nutrition, sports medicine and eating disorders, Sossin will be creating a robust training program for coaches in educational communities. Follow NORMAL's Triad Prevention project by visiting our site.