Beyond 15 hours of training per week, girls are at risk of slowing growth, menstrual cycle disorders, anorexia ... Deleterious effects to monitor, according to a report of the Academy of Medicine.
Ten thousand steps and more. Gymnasts, dancers, figure skaters or synchronized swimmers, are young athletes fairly well trained in medicine and nutrition? Probably not, says a recent report of the Academy of Medicine that points to the consequences of the high-level sports practice of adolescent girls on growth, puberty and osteoarticular development.
A working group of about twenty members focused on what he calls the sports of appearance or silhouette, that is to say the disciplines (above-mentioned) in which the performance is favored by the small size or the low weight. The intensive practice of tennis, endurance activities, such as cross-country running, or weight-class sports can run the same risks, specify the authors.
In the general population, the main concern is how to move teenagers and especially teenagers. Only 20% of girls aged 11 to 14 reach the recommended threshold of 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and the proportion drops to 15% among 15-17 year olds, according to the Esteban (2015) study. The situation is a little less critical for boys, with one-third and 40% respectively.
Nothing to do with girls who train more than 20 or even 30 hours a week. "Whether endurance, resistance or explosive sports, there is a high level of energy expenditure that is often associated with a limitation or even a lack of nutritional intake.says the report. In girls, the extreme caricatural consequences are the triad of the athlete: anorexia, amenorrhea, osteoporosis. " The danger exists especially for energetic contributions lower than 1000 kcal / d, with less than 12% to 15% of lipids.
According to the scientific literature, the complete triad would be infrequent, unlike the partial forms. Menstrual disorders and isolated amenorrhea would affect 30% to 50% of young female athletes, eating disorders 35%, and fractures 30%. Musculoskeletal injuries, which vary by discipline, could be up to 60%.
As for the growth of young female gymnastics or other figure sports, it would be slowed beyond 15 hours of training each week. For example, a 1990 Swiss study of 12-year-old girls showed that the peak height growth was 5.48 cm / year among gymnasts, compared to 8 among swimmers.