Recorded Symposium Session: Feed the Need to Succeed: Addressing Nutrition Insecurity and Underfueling in Athletes Through Adequacy, Availability, Affordability, and Practicality

Hunger can have significant short- and long-term effects on physical, mental, and emotional health. Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S) and food insecurity may differ in cause, but both are increasing on college campuses. Being inadequately nourished can negatively impact cognitive performance and increases the risk of injury. Educating health care professionals, schools, parents, and guardians on practical and realistic treatment for RED-S, hunger resources, broadening food accessibility and availability, and emphasizing affordability helps to level the playing field. Highlighting foods that are easily digestible, nutrient-rich, shelf stable, easy to prepare, low waste, and versatile, along with combatting misinformation and food blaming can help to feed the need to help student athletes succeed.   

Learning Objectives

After attending this session, nutrition professionals should be able to:

  1. Understand the pathophysiology of starvation and its relevance to the Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S).
  2. Identify alternate methods to assess RED-S Describe the physiological and psychological consequences.
  3. Describe the physiological and psychological consequences of hunger on the student athlete population.
  4. Describe appropriate refueling strategies with a “food over nutrients” approach.
  5. Outline strategies to provide optimum nutrition across the continuum of socio-economic resources.

Additional Information

Suggested CDR Performance Indicators: 
8.3.4, 8.3.7, 10.2.5, 12.1.1
CDR Activity Type: 
CPE Level: 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 CDR
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Leslie J. Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, is a registered dietitian, board certified specialist in sports dietetics and is the owner of Active Eating Advice- be fit, fed, fearless- a nutrition consulting company and co-founder of Performance365- a sports nutrition consulting company. She is currently the sports nutrition consultant for the 2020 Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Leslie’s company, Performance 365, provided the sports nutrition services for the inaugural season of the XFL and also the new FCF league. She is the author of numerous books and book chapters for sports medicine and sports nutrition manuals. She is also a blogger for US News and World Report and has a monthly television segment on Pittsburgh’s Today Live as well as guest sports on Sirius Dr Radio and KDKA radio in Pittsburgh.    

Leslie is an adjunct instructor in the school of dental medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, and she also teaches in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Pitt and the Athletic training program at Duquesne University. She received her undergraduate degree in Biopsychology from Vassar College, a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, and completed her dietetic internship at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. Leslie was the director of sports nutrition at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine for 16 years.

The presenter has no relevant disclosures to report regarding this program. She has certified that no conflict of interest exists for this program. View our disclosure policy.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 CDR


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