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Isabelle Schöffl, Volker Schöffl, J. Dötsch, H.G. Dörr and J. Jüngert

Over the last years concerns have been raised about the health effects particulary on young climbers due to the observation of short stature with low body weight and body fat in sports climbers. The aim of this study was to investigate anthropometric and hormonal data for climbers of the German Junior national team. 16 climbers were compared with 14—age matched nonclimbers with respect to several anthropometric variables, leptin level, and climbing characteristics. Height, weight and body mass index (BMI) standard deviation scores (SDS) for boys were not significantly different from the controls, whereas girls had significantly lower SDS-values for weight and BMI. In comparison with the control group boys and girls had a lower skinfold thickness. The leptin values were lower than the calculated leptin levels but only reached significance for the girls. The young athletes of the GJNT were neither of short stature nor thin when compared with a physically active control group. The low body fat in boys and girls was within expected limits. The lower leptin levels might be attributed to a decrease in total body fat.