New Zealand Jockeys’ Dietary Habits and Their Potential Impact on Health

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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The purpose of this study was to determine the nutritional status, eating behaviors, and body composition of 20 jockeys working in the New Zealand Racing Industry. Seven-day weighed food records showed the mean daily energy intake for male and female jockeys was 6769 ± 1339 kJ and 6213 ± 1797 kJ, respectively. Energy and carbohydrate intakes were below the recommendations for athletes, and the jockeys did not meet the RDI for a number of micronu-trients. Of the jockeys, 67% used a variety of methods to "make weight". including: diuretics, saunas, hot baths, exercise, and the restriction of food and fluids. A number of jockeys (20%) showed signs of disordered eating. Forty-four percent of jockeys were classified as osteopenic, and a number of factors may have contributed to this outcome, namely: reduced calcium intake, delayed menarche (14.5 years) in female jockeys, alcohol intake, and smoking. Percent body fat of male and female jockeys was 11.7 ± 2.9 and 23.6 ± 3.8, respectively. Current weight restrictions imposed on jockeys by the horseracing industry impacts on their nutritional status, which may compromise their sporting performance and both their short- and long-term health.

M.A. Leydon is with the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science at Waikato Polytechnic. Private Bag 3036, Hamilton, New Zealand. C. Wall is with the Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland, New Zealand.

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