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Clinical Trial Summary

Athletes in martial arts compete in categories separated by body weight, hence, many athletes need to adjust their habitual body weight during periods with competition preparation. Athletes competing in weight sensitive sports are previously identified with an increased risk for symptoms of low energy availability and of disordered eating. The methods used for body weight regulation are varied, and athletes without professional competent support, are prone to rely on harmful methods. And of importance, female athletes respond more negatively to attempts of body weight reduction with regards to health effects. Athletes of martial art are not surrounded by the same professional competence seen in other organized sports within the international sport federations, and specifically health competence is lacking. Additionally, numbers of females competing in martial art have increased the last decade, but they still practice in a sport culture dominated by males; both with reference to the high number of male participants, and with reference to the coaches within this sport. Sports involving practice in intimate, physical interaction with coaches or opposing athletes, and in sports where clothing is minimal, may be a high risk of experiences of sexual harassment. There have been a few reports on harmful methods of body weight regulation within martial arts, however, little knowledge exists on the practice by female martial art athletes, and the related health effects. Information on experiences of sexual harassment have been sparse in sport generally, with very little knowledge from sports like martial arts specifically. This study aims to explore the practice of female martial art athletes on body weight regulation, recovery strategies, their body acceptance and symptoms of eating disorders, and any experiences of sexual harassment. Additionally, with regards to the recent onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, this study also explores the related experiences by the athletes on training- and eating routines.


Clinical Trial Description

Low energy availability is a situation triggered by a low energy intake relatively to the total energy needs. It may typically occur when energy expenditure is increased by sporting activities concurrently to an unconscious or voluntarily insufficient increase in energy intake. This may cause a condition called Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-s), indicating a high risk for several negative health effects and performance deterioration. Athletes competing in body weight sensitive sports or sports categorized by body weight, have been identified with higher prevalence of RED-s, and specifically young females. Although it is the total difference between energy needs and energy availability that causes such scenario, the methods used to regulate body weight do also matter. Athletes without proper guidance on nutritional needs, recovery strategies, and optimal body weight regulation have previously reported use of harmful dieting methods, like purging methods, dehydration methods, and use of pharmaceuticals. Thus, young females competing in weight sensitive sport, not receiving any professional health and performance coaching are at specific risk for acutely and longterm negative health effects from chronic or repeated cycles of body weight reduction. In a rapidly expanding martial arts industry in the US, there have been several reports on sexual assault. Still, no systematic and first-hand documentation on this issue has been completed. In Norway the same increase in popularity of material arts are noticed, an interest also seen among females. With regards to the limited knowledge on exercise practice, eating routines and health symptoms in female material art athletes, this study aims to expand this. By relying on a cross sectional cohort design with systematic registration of outcomes, this study also aim to expand on current limited knowledge on experiences of sexual harassment among females in material arts. All females aged 16-35 practicing material arts in Oslo (Norway) at the time of recruitment (september-december 2020) will be invited (estimated to be between 200-300 athletes). All participants will receive information on the aim of this study, and must sign informed consent before participation. All data will be measured once per athlete. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT04559542
Study type Observational
Source Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
Contact
Status Completed
Phase
Start date September 10, 2020
Completion date May 30, 2021

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