Extreme Weight Loss for Athletes is a Big NO NO
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, doctors need to put more emphasis on healthy ways of losing weight for athletes and encourage coaches to relay these messages. The study can be found on CNN.com or just click here.
The Academy has researched and found that young athletes are engaging in dangerous activities that cause them to lose an average of two to three pounds each week. This pattern is especially true in sports like wrestling, weight training, figure skating and gymnastics. The policy also says:
Weight loss accompanied by overexercising, using rubber suits, steam baths, or saunas should be prohibited for all young athletes. So should diet pills, nutritional supplements and diuretics, and no weight-loss plan for athletic purposes should ever be used before the ninth grade, the policy says.
This study was prompted after the death of three wrestlers in 1998 for trying to lose weight rapidly to make a certain weight class. It is thought that coaches encourage many students to lose weight in these unhealthy manners. The policy urges doctors to put pressure on these coaches to do what is best and healthy for their athletes.
The policy puts several aspects of training into affects for all student athletes. According to the new policy, which will go into effect in the 2006-07 school year, there are mandates in body fat minimums for both males (7 percent) and females (12 percent). There is a similar body fat percentage recommendation for male athletes, but the number is not set for females. Basically, the Academy wants females to consume enough calories to keep their mentrual cycle and flow normal.