2023 International Olympic Committee's (IOC) consensus statement on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs)

Br J Sports Med. 2023 Sep;57(17):1073-1097. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2023-106994.


Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (REDs) was first introduced in 2014 by the International Olympic Committee's expert writing panel, identifying a syndrome of deleterious health and performance outcomes experienced by female and male athletes exposed to low energy availability (LEA; inadequate energy intake in relation to exercise energy expenditure). Since the 2018 REDs consensus, there have been >170 original research publications advancing the field of REDs science, including emerging data demonstrating the growing role of low carbohydrate availability, further evidence of the interplay between mental health and REDs and more data elucidating the impact of LEA in males. Our knowledge of REDs signs and symptoms has resulted in updated Health and Performance Conceptual Models and the development of a novel Physiological Model. This Physiological Model is designed to demonstrate the complexity of either problematic or adaptable LEA exposure, coupled with individual moderating factors, leading to changes in health and performance outcomes. Guidelines for safe and effective body composition assessment to help prevent REDs are also outlined. A new REDs Clinical Assessment Tool-Version 2 is introduced to facilitate the detection and clinical diagnosis of REDs based on accumulated severity and risk stratification, with associated training and competition recommendations. Prevention and treatment principles of REDs are presented to encourage best practices for sports organisations and clinicians. Finally, methodological best practices for REDs research are outlined to stimulate future high-quality research to address important knowledge gaps.

Keywords: athletes; nutritional sciences; psychology, sports; relative energy deficiency in sport; sports medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Body Composition
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport* / diagnosis
  • Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport* / therapy
  • Sports*