TableĀ 6

Strategies to deal with problems associated with the focus on body mass (BM) and/or composition (BC) in sport

Common themes identified
Standardised proceduresBe aware of vulnerability of athlete; assess hydration status, especially in weight category sports; have nutritional recovery procedures after weigh-in; treat data confidentially; have referral system in place; be clear in what metrics are communicated, how reports are made and to whom
Screening and monitoringLarge-scale screening (even web-based) and longitudinal monitoring to improve identification of at-risk athletes
PolicyDevelop national, regional or sport-specific policy related to weight management, eating disorders, communication about weight and develop a robust identification and referral system
Education and counsellingExplain disadvantages and motivate to focus on performance; integrate coaches; de-emphasise BM/BC; provide education on BC methods and other metrics
Interdisciplinary approachesHave interdisciplinary team and health maintenance criteria in place and ensure compliance; develop a national network of healthcare providers; develop educational opportunities for athletes using interdisciplinary team
Role modelsLet senior athletes with good practices influence young athletes
ResearchEngage in research (eg, BC assessment methods, especially field methods; establishing norms; BC and performance links; eating disorder risk in ethnically diverse groups; BC assessment methods and norms in athletes with spinal cord injuries)
  • Note: n=48.