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Erica Berman, Mary Jane De Souza and Gretchen Kerr

This study employed the method of qualitative exploration to examine the relationships between body image, exercise and eating behaviors. It also addressed a controversial question in the literature: Do weight and appearance concerns motivate physical activity participation or does participation in physical activity exacerbate weight and appearance concerns? Seven female recreational exercisers (ages 23 to 35) were interviewed about weight and appearance concerns, eating and exercise behaviors. All but one reported past or present disordered eating behaviors. While all of the women cited numerous physical and psychological benefits from physical activity, weight and appearance concerns were important motivators to exercise. For all participants, weight and appearance concerns as well as disordered eating problems led to the adoption of recreational fitness activities and not the reverse.

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Tracey L. Clissold, Paul W. Winwood, John B. Cronin and Mary Jane De Souza

Jumps have been investigated as a stimulus for bone development; however, effects of instruction, jump type, and jump-landing techniques need investigation. This study sought to identify whether ground reaction forces (GRFs) for bilateral vertical jumps (countermovement jumps and drop jumps) with reactive jump-landings (ie, jumping immediately after initial jump-landing), with instruction and with instruction withdrawn, achieve magnitudes and rates of strain previously shown to improve bone mass among premenopausal women. Twenty-one women (Mean ± SD: 43.3 ± 5.9 y; 69.4 ± 9.6 kg; 167 ± 5.5 cm; 27.5 ± 8.7% body fat) performed a testing session ‘with instruction’ followed by a testing session performed 1 week later with ‘instruction withdrawn.’ The magnitudes (4.59 to 5.49 body weight [BW]) and rates of strain (263 to 359 BW·s−1) for the jump-landings, performed on an AMTI force plate, exceeded previously determined thresholds (>3 BWs and >43 BW·s−1). Interestingly, significantly larger peak resultant forces, (↑10%; P = .002) and peak rates of force development (↑20%; P < .001) values (in relation to BW and BW·s−1, respectively) were observed for the second jump-landing (postreactive jump). Small increases (ES = 0.22–0.42) in all landing forces were observed in the second jump-landing with ‘instruction withdrawn.’ These jumps represent a unique training stimulus for premenopausal women and achieve osteogenic thresholds thought prerequisite for bone growth.

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Jenna C. Gibbs, Nancy I. Williams, Jennifer L. Scheid, Rebecca J. Toombs and Mary Jane De Souza

A high drive-for-thinness (DT) score obtained from the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 is associated with surrogate markers of energy deficiency in exercising women. The purposes of this study were to confirm the association between DT and energy deficiency in a larger population of exercising women that was previously published and to compare the distribution of menstrual status in exercising women when categorized as high vs. normal DT. A high DT was defined as a score ≥7, corresponding to the 75th percentile for college-age women. Exercising women age 22.9 ± 4.3 yr with a BMI of 21.2±2.2 kg/m2 were retrospectively grouped as high DT (n = 27) or normal DT (n = 90) to compare psychometric, energetic, and reproductive characteristics. Chi-square analyses were performed to compare the distribution of menstrual disturbances between groups. Measures of resting energy expenditure (REE) (4,949 ± 494 kJ/day vs. 5,406 ± 560 kJ/day, p < .001) and adjusted REE (123 ± 16 kJ/LBM vs. 130 ± 9 kJ/LBM, p = .027) were suppressed in exercising women with high DT vs. normal DT, respectively. Ratio of measured REE to predicted REE (pREE) in the high-DT group was 0.85 ± 0.10, meeting the authors’ operational definition for an energy deficiency (REE:pREE <0.90). A greater prevalence of severe menstrual disturbances such as amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea was observed in the high-DT group (χ2 = 9.3, p = .003) than in the normal-DT group. The current study confirms the association between a high DT score and energy deficiency in exercising women and demonstrates a greater prevalence of severe menstrual disturbances in exercising women with high DT.

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Nicole C.A. Strock, Kristen J. Koltun, Emily A. Southmayd, Nancy I. Williams and Mary Jane De Souza

Energy deficiency in exercising women can lead to physiological consequences. No gold standard exists to accurately estimate energy deficiency, but measured-to-predicted resting metabolic rate (RMR) ratio has been used to categorize women as energy deficient. The purpose of the study was to (a) evaluate the accuracy of RMR prediction methods, (b) determine the relationships with physiological consequences of energy deficiency, and (c) evaluate ratio thresholds in a cross-sectional comparison of ovulatory, amenorrheic, or subclinical menstrual disturbances in exercising women (n = 217). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and indirect calorimetry provided data on anthropometrics and energy expenditure. Harris–Benedict, DXA, and Cunningham (1980 and 1991) equations were used to estimate RMR and RMR ratio. Group differences were assessed (analysis of variance and Kruskal–Wallis tests); logistic regression and Spearman correlations related ratios with consequences of energy deficiency (i.e., low total triiodothyronine; TT3). Sensitivity and specificity calculations evaluated ratio thresholds. Amenorrheic women had lower RMR (p < .05), DXA ratio (p < .01), Cunningham1980 (p < .05) and Cunningham1991 (p < .05) ratio, and TT3 (p < .01) compared with the ovulatory group. Each prediction equation overestimated measured RMR (p < .001), but predicted (p < .001) and positively correlated with TT3 (r = .329–.453). A 0.90 ratio threshold yielded highest sensitivity for Cunningham1980 (0.90) and Harris–Benedict (0.87) methods, but a higher ratio threshold was best for DXA (0.94) and Cunningham1991 (0.92) methods to yield a sensitivity of 0.80. In conclusion, each ratio predicted and correlated with TT3, supporting the use of RMR ratio as an alternative assessment of energetic status in exercising women. However, a 0.90 ratio cutoff is not universal across RMR estimation methods.