Eating attitudes and energy intakes of female skaters

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This study examined potential links between dietary intakes, body fatness, menstrual status, and hematological and serum iron status in 21 competitive female figure skaters aged 11-16 yr.


Attitudes toward dieting were assessed using the Eating Attitudes Test(EAT). Dietary intakes were based on 3-d food records. Percent body fat was calculated using measures of triceps, subscapular, suprailiac, pectoral, axillary, abdominal, and thigh skinfold measures. Blood iron status was measured using hematocrit (Hct), hemoglobin (Hgb), total iron binding capacity(TIBC), and serum iron. Menstrual status was based on a self-report questionnaire.


Body weights and estimated energy intakes were all within normal range for this age group. Higher EAT scores were associated with lower micronutrient, but not lower energy intakes. Menstrual status and iron status were normal. No significant correlations between measures of body fatness, menstrual status, and hematological or serum iron status were observed.


Although the measured indices of nutritional status were normal, adolescent athletes have higher energy needs than does the general population. Depending on energy expenditure levels, energy and nutrition intakes in the low normal range may put some athletes at risk for undernutrition.

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