Dietary patterns, eating behaviors, and bone mineral density in women runners

David B. Snead, Cindy C. Stubbs, Judy Y. Weltman, William S. Evans, Johannes D. Veldhuis, Alan D. Rogol, C. David Teates, Arthur Weltman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Although reduced gonadal steroid hormone concentrations appear to play a major role in lower trabecular bone mineral density (BMD) in women with athletic amenorrhea, dietary deficiencies and eating behaviors may also affect BMD in women runners. To investigate this possibility, dietary patterns (7-d records), eating-disorders inventory (EDI), and BMD were examined in nine nonrunning eumenorrheic control (Contl) and 32 women runners classified as eumenorrheic (n = 19, Eumen) and oligo/amenorrheic (a group in which some were oligomenorrheic and some were amenorrheic; Ol/Am, n = 13), Runner groups had similar cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and training characteristics. Lumbar spine BMD was lower in the Ol/Am runners (-12%. P < 0.05) but proximal femur BMD did not differ. Dietary intake and EDI subscale scores were similar among the groups. However, there was an inverse trend between EDI subscale scores for bulimia and ineffectiveness and femoral BMD in the Ol/Am runners (r = -0.62 to -0.71. P < 0.05). These results suggest that self-reported dietary intake and/or eating behaviors do not predict reproductive-function alterations in women runners, but eating behaviors may be associated with lower BMD in Ol/Am runners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-711
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1992


  • Amenorrhea
  • Athletes
  • Eating attitudes
  • Eating disorders
  • Eumenorrhea
  • Exercise
  • Exertion
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Oligomenorrhea
  • Physical fitness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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