Dietary intakes of 24 female athletes in various sports were compared inseason and postseason to those reported by 24 nonathletes during the same time period. Diets were analyzed for energy, carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins A and C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folacin, calcium, and iron. During the study, the athletes' and nonathletes' diets were similar. Their energy intakes were lower than recommended while their iron and calcium intakes were marginal (less than 70% of the recommended dietary allowance). Although few dietary changes were observed, the nonathletes' diets changed more than those of the athletes during the study. Both groups reduced their energy intakes but only the nonathletes' reduction was significant. Initially many subjects were dieting. More subjects reported dieting during the second recording period. These results suggest that the desire to be thin may influence dietary intakes of female athletes more than changes in exercise training.
June Nutter, who was with the Dept. of Health and Sport Science at Wake Forest University at the time of this study, is now with the Dept. of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI 02908.