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Female Athletes - Striving to Be the Best

            In the early 1900s, it wasn't uncommon for female athletes to be rejected from sports or events like the Olympic Games because it was thought to be too stressful on the female body. Although things have changed, being a female in a world of sports may not come easily. Women, who engage in high caliber sports such as gymnastics, figure skating or ballet are exposed to the pressure of having a low body weight or leanness. As a result, they tend to succumb to something known as the "female athlete triad " (Greunke). The female athlete triad is known as a combination of three conditions: disordered eating (low energy availability/intake), amenorrhea (menstrual disturbances), and osteoporosis (bone loss). Accompanying this, female athletes may be exposed to the media as sexual figures. Female athletes are then encouraged to meet this sexy standard, therefore, leading these superior athletes to focus on their weight, not their health or nutrition. The prestigious Princeton University addressed the female athlete triad for the National Collegiate Athletic Association handbook and stated that young female athletes are more susceptible to an eating disorder than those who are not athletes. These talented young athletes are slowly killing themselves to fit the standard of their sport, and it is vital for a female athlete that has one component of the triad to get assessed for other health components. My proposition is that these young females should be required to have a dietitian or nutritionist, a mental health provider or physician, and a trainer in order to maintain a healthy life and excel in their sport. .
             A dietitian or nutritionist is an expert in the field of nutrition and a regulated diet to help achieve a specific health goal. When Title IX came about in 1972, it mandated equal access for sport participation for males and females. With the installation of this law, female participation in sports dramatically increased, reluctantly decreasing drug use and pregnancy.

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