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January 3, 1996

Health Pros Want New Rules for Girl Athletes

JAMA. 1996;275(1):22-24. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530250026007

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THE CENTENNIAL Olympic Games anticipated occurrence in Atlanta, Ga, this summer serves as a focus for new emphasis on several aspects of sports medicine.

While there is increasing recognition of the right of women to participate in sports on all levels, there is also growing awareness that biological differences between the sexes may require different training rules and practices for men and women—especially for young female athletes.

Research findings presented at the Third International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Congress on Sport Sciences, held in Atlanta, suggest that when it comes to competitive sports, what's good for the gander may in some cases be unhealthy for the goose.

Of particular concern is the potentially fatal group of disorders called "female athlete triad," which includes disordered eating behavior, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis (JAMA. 1993;270:921-923). In addition, certain common competitive training practices have been associated with the development of depression, drug addiction, and other