Study Shows Poor Diets Lead to Stress Fractures

By Ben Wolf
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Recent research published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine shows that a woman's diet remains the number one cause of stress fractures.

"Whenever I had my stress fracture I realize now that I wasn't eating as much as I eat now, so I just basically try to eat enough because I realize I don't eat as much as I'm losing, so I try to eat more," said VSU cross country runner Vicky Cato.

Experts point to the female athlete triad which lists three parts: improper eating, problems with menstrual cycles and osteoporosis.

"Research has shown us that anywhere from five to 20 percent of female athletes in general may have some form of an eating disorder," said Dr. Lagary Carter.

Carter points to things like the way clothes are made for young runners as a contributing factor.

"All girls that I've ever ran with, all of us have problems, like we all think about the way we look and our legs and our abs," said Cato.

While some of the same problems can be found in men, Carter says they are less common.

"As long as I'm running good times and I'm competitive, I don't worry about my weight too much," said VSU cross country runner Patrick McGough.

Experts recommend at least 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily for female athletes to combat potential problems.