Our expert says:
It is indeed sad that untrained individuals who have NO idea about nutrition should make decisions about the diets of growing children who participate in sport. I must say that I am shocked, but not surprised that a cycling coach should take it upon herself to dictate what diet teenager female cyclists should, or should not use. Because this is such a difficult ethical situation, I would like to recommend that you consult a registered dietitian who specialises in sports nutrition (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), or contact the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA) at: (011) 061-5000 for assistance. You can also contact the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of the North-West (Potchefstroom) and ask to speak to Prof Hattie Wright, who is one of the leading authorities in the field of sports nutrition. A sensible approach would be for the parents of the entire group of children who do cycling at this club to pay towards the services of a registered sports dietitian who will explain what young cyclists/athletes need to eat, not only to develop muscles, but to also provide adequate amounts of energy for the activities they engage in, AND to also ensure that these growing youngsters do not suffer harm because of a lack of essential nutrients.
Please get the assistance of a dietitian or ADSA or Prof Wright to sort out this unfortunate situation.
Holding thumbs for you and the young cyclists
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