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This study examines the degree of under-reporting of energy intake by elite, female gymnasts, and the impact this predicted under-reporting has on associated macro and micro nutrient intake. Twenty-eight female U.S. national team artistic gymnasts participated in the study. Dietary intake was assessed using 3-day food records, and the degree of under-reporting was predicted from the ratio of reported energy intake (EI) to predicted basal metabolic rate (BMRestd), using the standards described by Goldberg et al. (10). Sixty-one percent of the subjects had an EI/BMRestd ratio of < 1.44, and were classified as under-reporters. The under-reporters had higher BMIs and percent body fat, and lower reported total energy intakes than the adequate energy reporters. Additionally, under-reporting of energy intake had a significant impact on reported micro nutrient intake. The under-reporting of energy intake seen in these subjects has an impact on the reported intake of macro and micro nutrients that can influence the interpretation of the nutritional status of these athletes and the strategy for nutrition intervention. Therefore, when assessing dietary intakes of elite gymnasts, some means of determining the accuracy of the reported energy and nutrient intake should be employed to more accurately identify the true nutritional problems experienced by these elite athletes.

The authors are with the Department of Nutrition at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303.