Dietary Intake, Body Image Perceptions, and Weight Concerns of Female US International Synchronized Figure Skating Teams

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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The objectives of the study were to determine the nutrient intakes and to examine body image perceptions and weight concerns of elite female US international synchronized skaters. One hundred and twenty-three skaters (mean age = 17.0 ± 2.1 y; BMI = 21.32 ± 2.13) representing six US international synchronized skating teams from the 1998 competitive season participated in the study. Nutrient intakes were determined from 3-d dietary records. Body image perceptions were assessed from responses to silhouette drawings. Skaters completed an emotional and physical self-appraisal. Weight concerns were assessed using a self-administered validated weight history questionnaire. The reported energy intake was 26 kcal/kg. The contribution of carbohydrate, fat, and protein to total energy intake was 62%, 23%, and 15% for younger (14-18 y) and 62%, 24%, and 14%, respectively, for the older (19-30 y) skaters. Significant differences (P < 0.001) were observed between perceived ideal and current body shapes. The greater the dissatisfaction with physical and emotional self, the larger the discrepancy between current versus desired body shape. Results suggest that sports nutritionists should not only assess nutrition factors but also examine psychosocial and emotional correlates related to body image and weight concerns of synchronized skaters.

Ziegler is with the Gerber Products Co., Parsippany, NJ 07054-0622. Kannan is with the Dept of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029. Jonnalagadda is with Novartis Medical Nutrition, St. Louis Park, MN 55416. Krishnakumar is with Syracuse University, Syracuse NY, 13244-1250. Taksali is with Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520. Nelson is with the United States Olympic Committee, Colorado Springs, CO 80909.