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The mission of the Symposium of University Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) is to provide a university-wide forum for Central Washington University (CWU) students, encouraging equity, diversity, and inclusivity, representing all disciplines and experience levels, to present their mentored research, scholarship, and creative works in a juried environment that meets professional conference standards and expectations.

The 2022 SOURCE program is hybrid. Pre-recorded virtual talks are colored green and can be watched anytime. Live/in-person sessions with Zoom access can be found in the daily schedule. Thank you for joining us!

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Wednesday, May 18 • 2:30pm - 2:45pm
Risk of Low Energy Availability, Disordered Eating, and Menstrual Dysfunction in Female Recreational Runners

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Running is characterized by high physiological demands with an emphasis on weight, which may lead to a greater risk of developing low energy availability (LEA) and or disordered eating (DE). Recreational runners are a population that is often overlooked due to a lack of resources readily available to them such as registered dietitians, physicians, and therapists. Purpose: This study investigated the prevalence of menstrual dysfunction, risk of DE and LEA. Methods: Female recreational runners (n= 2,434) running a minimum of 21 miles a week completed an online questionnaire that included the Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q) (occurrence of stress fractures, menstrual function, contraceptive use, and gastrointestinal function) to evaluate LEA risk, and the Disordered Eating Screening Assessment (DESA-6) (weight control methods, weight satisfaction, and self-reported diagnosis of eating disorders (ED)/DE) to evaluate DE risk. Chi-square tests analyzed the presence or history of an ED and menstrual function. Results: 55% of participants are at risk for LEA based on a score of > 8 on the LEAF-Q, 39% are at risk for DE based on a score of >3 on the DESA-6, and 30% reported menstrual dysfunction. Conclusion: Female recreational runners have a high risk for LEA and DE. Furthermore, recreational athletes may not receive the needed treatment due to a lack of resources available to them. These results reinforce the need for further education and preventative measures around LEA and DE amongst recreational female runners.


Marissa Miles

Graduate, Food Science and Nutrition


Abigail Larson

Mentor, Kinesiology, Southern Utah University

Kelly Pritchett

Mentor, Exercise Science, Food Science and Nutrition

Robert Pritchett

Mentor, Exercise Science

Wednesday May 18, 2022 2:30pm - 2:45pm PDT
Student Union & Recreation Center (SURC) - Ballrooms B&C

Attendees (3)