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Laurel M. Wentz, Pei-Yang Liu, Jasminka Z. Ilich and Emily M. Haymes

Background:

High rates of vitamin D deficiency have been reported in athletes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the associations between vitamin D with bone health and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations in female runners who trained at 30.4° degrees north.

Methods:

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH) D), PTH, body composition, and bone mineral density (BMD) were measured in 59 female runners, aged 18–40 years. Stress fracture history, training duration and frequency were evaluated by questionnaire. As per National Endocrine Society cut-offs, serum vitamin D ranges were: 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L for deficient; 50–75 nmol/L for insufficient; and ≥ 75 nmol/L for sufficient status.

Results:

Mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 122.6 ± 63.9 nmol/L, with 18.6% of subjects in the deficient (5.1%) or insufficient (13.5%) range. No significant differences were observed between sufficient and deficient/insufficient subjects for BMD, PTH, history of stress fractures, or demographic data.

Conclusions:

The majority of distance runners maintained sufficient vitamin D status, suggesting that training outdoors in latitude where vitamin D synthesis occurs year-round reduces the risk for vitamin D deficiency. Data do not support the indiscriminate supplementation of outdoor athletes in southern latitudes without prior screening.

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Laurel Wentz, Pei-Yang Liu, Jasminka Z. Ilich and Emily M. Haymes

Purpose:

To compare female runners with and without a history of stress fractures to determine possible predictors of such fractures.

Methods:

27 female runners (age 18–40 yr) who had had at least 1 stress fracture were matched to a control sample of 32 female runners without a history of stress fractures. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (iDXA). Subjects answered questionnaires on stress-fracture history, training, menstrual status, and diet.

Results:

No significant differences were found in menstrual characteristics, diet and dairy intake, or bone measurements. Weekly servings of milk during middle school significantly predicted BMD at the femur (p = .010), femoral neck (p = .002), Ward’s triangle (p = .014), and femoral shaft (p = .005). Number of menstrual cycles in the previous year predicted femoral-neck BMD (p = .004). Caffeine intake was negatively associated with BMD of the femur (p = .010), femoral neck (p = .003), trochanter (p = .038), and femoral shaft (p = .035). Weekly hours of training were negatively associated with total-body BMD (p = .021), total-body bone mineral content (p = .028), and lumbar-spine BMD (p = .011). Predictors for stress fractures included the number of years running, predominantly running on hard ground, irregular menstrual history, low total-body BMD, and low current dietary calcium intake when controlling for body-mass index (Nagelkerke R 2 = .364).

Conclusions:

Servings of milk during middle-school years were positively correlated with hip BMD, although current calcium intake, low BMD, irregular menstrual history, hard training surface, and long history of training duration were the most important predictors of stress fractures.

Restricted access

Aaron P. Crombie, Pei-Yang Liu, Michael J. Ormsbee and Jasminka Z. Ilich

Purpose:

To examine relationships between changes in body weight, body composition, and fitness level in male students of the general population and those in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program during the freshman year of college.

Methods:

Thirty-seven (18.4 ± 0.7 yr) healthy, nonsmoking, first-semesterresident male students were divided into 3 groups: low active (LA), high active (HA), and ROTC. Baseline (beginning of freshman year) and 6-month follow-up measurements included anthropometry, body composition (by DXA), 3-day food records, and physical activity (PA) assessment.

Results:

Weight and body-mass index did not change significantly within or among groups. HA participants compared with LA and ROTC had a significant decrease in body fat (–1.6% ± 2.5% vs. 1.9% ± 1.2% and 0.8% ± 2.2%, respectively). They also had a significant increase in lean mass compared with LA and ROTC (1.8 ± 1.1 kg vs. –0.2 ± 2.0 kg and 0.2 ± 1.7 kg, respectively). All p values were <.05. ROTC and LA participants were similar in all measures of body composition and PA and had significantly lower PA levels than the HA group. No significant relationships were observed between dietary variables and body-composition changes.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that higher PA was the most powerful determinant in achieving favorable body-composition outcomes. In addition, current physical training conducted by ROTC at Florida State University (which seems to be a practice nationwide) might not be sufficient to offset gains in body fat.

Open access

Yang Liu, Yan Tang, Zhen-Bo Cao, Pei-Jie Chen, Jia-Lin Zhang, Zheng Zhu, Jie Zhuang, Yang Yang and Yue-Ying Hu

Background:

Internationally comparable evidence is important to advocate for young people’s physical activity. The aim of this article is to present the inaugural Shanghai (China) Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

Methods:

Since no national data are available, the working group developed the survey questionnaire and carried out the school surveys for students (n = 71,404), parents (n = 70,346), and school administrators and teachers (n = 1398). The grades of 9 report card indicators were assigned in accordance with the survey results against a defined benchmark: A is 81% to 100%; B is 61% to 80%; C is 41% to 60%, D is 21% to 40%; F is 0% to 20%.

Results:

The 9 indicators were graded as follows: Overall Physical Activity Levels (F), Organized Sport Participation (F), Active Play (D-), Active Transportation (C-), Sedentary Behavior (F), Family and Peers (B), School (B+), Community and the Built Environment (D+), and Government (D).

Conclusions:

Levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior were low and below the respective recommended guidelines. Interventions and policies at the community level should be encouraged to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior. Future national surveys should be encouraged to strengthen Shanghai’s Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

Open access

Yang Liu, Yan Tang, Zhen-Bo Cao, Jie Zhuang, Zheng Zhu, Xue-Ping Wu, Li-Juan Wang, Yu-Jun Cai, Jia-Lin Zhang and Pei-Jie Chen