The nutrient intakes and dietary practices of elite, U.S. national team, artistic female gymnasts (n = 33) were evaluated using 3-day food records. The gymnasts' reported energy intake was 34.4 kcal/kg (total 1,678 kcal/day), which was 20% below the estimated energy requirement. The contributions of protein, fat, and carbohydrate to total energy intake were 17%, 18%, and 66%, respectively. All reported vitamin intakes, except vitamin E, were above the RDA. The reported mineral intakes, especially calcium, zinc, and magnesium, were less than 100% of the RDA. The overall nutrient densities of the subjects' diets were higher than expected. Eighty-two percent of the gymnasts reported taking nonprescription vitamin and mineral supplements, and 10% reported taking prescription vitamin and mineral supplements. Forty-eight percent of the gymnasts reported being on a self-prescribed diet. Compared to NHANES III, the reported nutrient intake of these gymnasts was different from that of the average U.S. adolescent female. In summary, certain key nutrients such as calcium, iron, and zinc should be given more attention to prevent nutrient deficiencies and subsequent health consequences.
Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Dan Benardot, and Marian Nelson
Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Dan Benardot, and Marian N. Dill
This study examines the degree of under-reporting of energy intake by elite, female gymnasts, and the impact this predicted under-reporting has on associated macro and micro nutrient intake. Twenty-eight female U.S. national team artistic gymnasts participated in the study. Dietary intake was assessed using 3-day food records, and the degree of under-reporting was predicted from the ratio of reported energy intake (EI) to predicted basal metabolic rate (BMRestd), using the standards described by Goldberg et al. (10). Sixty-one percent of the subjects had an EI/BMRestd ratio of < 1.44, and were classified as under-reporters. The under-reporters had higher BMIs and percent body fat, and lower reported total energy intakes than the adequate energy reporters. Additionally, under-reporting of energy intake had a significant impact on reported micro nutrient intake. The under-reporting of energy intake seen in these subjects has an impact on the reported intake of macro and micro nutrients that can influence the interpretation of the nutritional status of these athletes and the strategy for nutrition intervention. Therefore, when assessing dietary intakes of elite gymnasts, some means of determining the accuracy of the reported energy and nutrient intake should be employed to more accurately identify the true nutritional problems experienced by these elite athletes.
Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Paula J. Ziegler, and Judy A. Nelson
The objectives of this study were to determine food preferences, body image perceptions, dieting behaviors, and nutrient intakes of elite male and female figure skaters. Male (n = 23) and female (n = 26) figure skaters completed a food preference checklist, a questionnaire examining their demographics, dieting behaviors and body image perceptions, and 3-d food records. Male skaters had a higher preference (score ≥ 6) for grains, fruit, meat, dairy, fats, and sweets. Female skaters had higher preference for grains and fruits. Of the female skaters, 30% considered themselves overweight and indicated a preference for a thinner body contour. Both male and female skaters expressed a preference for leaner body contours for members of the opposite gender. Total energy intake, total fat (females) and dietary fiber were below the dietary recommendations. Vitamin E, vitamin D, folate (females), pantothenic acid (females), calcium (females), magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus (females) were less than two-thirds of the dietary recommendations. Macronutrient intake of male skaters was associated with preferences for the grain group, although no association was observed among female skaters. Results suggest that these behaviors and attitudes need to be assessed and addressed among figure skaters, given their impact on dietary intakes and overall well-being.
Paula J. Ziegler, Judith A. Nelson, and Satya S. Jonnalagadda
This study assessed the nutrient intake, body composition and biochemical indices of National Figure Skating Championship competitors. Four-day diet records, fasting blood samples, and anthropometric measurements were obtained 2 months after the National Championships from 41 figure skaters 11-18 years of age. Energy, carbohydrate, fat, dietary fiber and cholesterol intake were significantly lower compared to the NHANES III averages for adolescents in the U.S. In general, the mean intakes for most vitamins except vitamin D and E were above the recommended intake. But the athletes had lower intakes of vitamin E and B12, and higher intakes of vitamin C, and thiamin (females only) compared with NHANES III. The mean intakes of magnesium, zinc, and iodine by the male skaters were below the recommended levels, as were the mean intakes of calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc by the female skaters. Also, the number of servings from vegetable, fruit, dairy, and meat groups were below the recommended levels. Biochemical indices of nutritional status were within normal limits for all skaters. But plasma electrolyte concentrations were indicative of potential dehydration status. The results suggest there is a need to develop dietary intervention and educational programs targeted at promoting optimal nutrient and fluid intakes by these athletes to maintain performance and improve long-term health status.
Paula J. Ziegler, Judy A. Nelson, and Satya S. Jonnalagadda
The present study examined the prevalence of dietary supplement use among elite figure skaters, gender differences in supplement use, and differences in nutrient intake of supplement users versus non-users. Male (n = 46) and female (n = 59) figure skaters completed a supplement survey and 3-day food records. Descriptive analysis, chi-square test, and independent t tests were used to analyze the data. Sixty-five percent of male (n = 30) and 76% of female (n = 45) figure skaters reported use of supplements. Forty-seven percent of males and 55% of females reported daily use of supplements. Multivitamin-mineral supplements were the most popular dietary supplements consumed by figure skaters. Significant gender differences were observed in the use of multivitamin-mineral supplements (61% males vs. 83% females, p < .05). Echinacea and ginseng were popular herbal supplements used by these skaters. The 3 main reasons given by male figure skaters for taking supplements were: to provide more energy (41%), to prevent illness or disease (34%), and to enhance performance (21%). Among female figure skaters, the 3 main reasons given were: to prevent illness or disease (61%), to provide more energy (39%), and to make up for an inadequate diet (28%). Significant differences (p < .05) were observed in protein, total fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat intakes, and % energy from carbohydrate and total fat of male supplement users versus non-users, with supplement users having higher intakes except for percent energy from carbohydrate. Sodium was the only nutrient significantly different (p < .05) among female supplement users versus non-users, with supplement users having lower intakes. Given the popularity of dietary supplements, it is important to understand the factors influencing athletes’ use of supplements, their knowledge and attitudes regarding supplements, dosage of supplements used, and the effectiveness of these dietary supplements in meeting the goals of the athletes.
Phillip E. Nichols, Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Christine A. Rosenbloom, and Marvin Trinkaus
The purpose of this study was to determine collegiate athletes’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors concerning hydration and fluid replacement. A survey containing questions pertaining to demographics and knowledge, attitude, and behavior on hydration and fluid replacement was distributed to the athletes during team meetings and practices. A total of 139 out of 171 (81.3%) athletes participated in the study. The mean age of the athletes was 19.8 y. The mean score for knowledge, attitude, and behavior was 13.9 ± 1.8, 9.8 ± 2.2, and 12.4 ± 2.5, respectively, with higher scores indicating positive hydration knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Significant positive correlation was observed between knowledge, attitude, and behavior scores (P < 0.05). Significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed in the reported hydration behaviors between skilled (11.79 ± 2.08) and endurance (12.71 ± 2.63) athletes. Most athletes correctly answered the general hydration questions on the survey, but the majority did not correctly answer statements in regards to National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) position stands and lacked knowledge regarding appropriate use of sports drink. The results of this study identify specific areas of education for athletes with regards to hydration.
Paula J. Ziegler, Srimathi Kannan, Satya S. Jonnalagadda, Ambika Krishnakumar, Sara E. Taksali, and Judith A. Nelson
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.