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Debra Bemben, Michael Bemben, Scott Going, Roy Oman, Denise Smith and Dan Williams

Edited by Scott B. Going

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Joshua N. Farr, Deepika R. Laddu and Scott B. Going

Although primarily considered a disorder of the elderly, emerging evidence suggests the antecedents of osteoporosis are established during childhood and adolescence. A complex interplay of genetic, environmental, hormonal and behavioral factors determines skeletal development, and a greater effort is needed to identify the most critical factors that establish peak bone strength. Indeed, knowledge of modifiable factors that determine skeletal development may permit optimization of skeletal health during growth and could potentially offset reductions in bone strength with aging. The peripubertal years represent a unique period when the skeleton is particularly responsive to loading exercises, and there is now overwhelming evidence that exercise can optimize skeletal development. While this is not controversial, the most effective exercise prescription and how much investment in this prescription is needed to significantly impact bone health continues to be debated. Despite considerable progress, these issues are not easy to address, and important questions remain unresolved. This review focuses on the key determinants of skeletal development, whether exercise during childhood and adolescence should be advocated as a safe and effective strategy for optimizing peak bone strength, and whether investment in exercise early in life protects against the development of osteoporosis and fractures later in life.

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Timothy G. Lohman, Melanie Hingle and Scott B. Going

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Linda B. Houtkooper, Veronica A. Mullins, Scott B. Going, C. Harmon Brown and Timothy G. Lohman

This study characterized body composition profiles of elite American heptathletes and cross-validated skinfold (SKF) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) field method equations for estimation of percent body fat (%Fat) using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as the criterion. Weight, height, fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), bone mineral density (BMD), and %Fat were measured in 19 heptathletes using standard measurement protocols for DXA, SKFs and BIA. The ages, heights, and weights were respectively 25.5 ± 3.5 years, 175.0 ± 6.6 cm, 67.3 ± 7.1 kg. DXA estimates of mean ± SD values for body composition variables were 57.2 ± 6.1 kg FFM, 10.1 ± 2.6 kg FM, 114 ± 7% BMD for age/racial reference group, and 15 ± 3.0 %Fat. Ranges of bias values for %Fat (DXA minus SKF or BIA) were, respectively, −0.5 to 1.6% and −5.5 to −1.2%. Ranges for standard errors of estimate and total errors were, respectively, SKF 2.4–2.5%, 2.4–2.8% and BIA 3.0%, 5.0–6.5%. Regression analyses of the field methods on DXA were significant (p < .05) for all SKF equations but not BIA equations. This study demonstrates that elite American heptathletes are lean, have high levels of BMD, and that SKF equations provide more accurate estimates of %Fat relative to DXA than estimates from BIA equations.

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Veronica A. Mullins, Linda B. Houtkooper, Wanda H. Howell, Scott B. Going and C. Harmon Brown

This study describes the body composition, dietary nutrient intake, dietary practices, and biochemical indices of iron status of elite female American heptathletes during training. Four-day diet records and dietary practice questionnaires were obtained from 19 female heptathletes (26 ± 3 years) during the training season. Anthropometric measurements and fasting blood samples were obtained at the lowest phase of the training cycle. These athletes had a low body fat (13.8 ± 2.7%) and high fat-free mass to height ratios (33.0 ± 2.0 kg/m). Average nutrient intakes were > 67% of the reference intakes for all nutrients except vitamin E. Most dietary nutrient densities were higher than NHANES III nutrient densities for women 20–29 years old. More than 50% of the athletes took vitamin supplements and monitored their hydration status. Fifteen of the 17 athletes reported a normal menstrual cycle. Markers of biochemical iron status were all within the normal range. On average, these athletes were lean with high levels of fat free mass, adequate nutrient intakes, and normal biochemical indices of iron status. However, individual data reveals considerable variability within this group.

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Daniel R. Taber, Charlotte Pratt, Eileen Y. Charneco, Marsha Dowda, Jennie A. Phillips and Scott B. Going

Background:

There is controversy regarding whether moderately-intense sports can improve physical fitness, which declines throughout adolescence among girls. The objective was to estimate the association between moderate and vigorous sports participation and cardiorespiratory fitness in a racially diverse sample of adolescent girls.

Methods:

Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using a modified physical work capacity test in 1029 eighth-grade girls participating in the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls. Girls reported sports in which they participated in the last year on an organized activity questionnaire. Using general linear mixed models, the study regressed absolute and relative fitness on the number of vigorous and moderate sports in which girls participated, race/ethnicity, age, treatment group, fat mass, fat-free mass, and an interaction between race and fat-free mass.

Results:

The number of vigorous sports in which girls participated was positively associated with absolute fitness (β = 10.20, P = .04) and relative fitness (β = 0.17, P = .04). Associations were reduced, but not eliminated, after controlling for MET-weighted MVPA. Participation in moderate sports was not associated with either fitness measure.

Conclusions:

Vigorous sports participation is positively associated with cardiorespiratory fitness. Future longitudinal research should analyze whether promoting vigorous sports at an early age can prevent age-related declines in cardiorespiratory fitness among adolescent girls.

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Thomas Ball, Debra Bemben, Michael Bemben and Denise Smith

Edited by Scott B. Going

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Debra Bemben, Michael Bemben, Denise Smith and Daniel Williams

Edited by Scott B. Going

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Scott B. Going, Daniel P. Williams, Timothy G. Lohman and Michael J. Hewitt

This paper reviews age related changes in body fat, fat-free body mass, and the subcomponents of FFM including protein, mineral, and body water. It gives an overview of common methods and their limitations in the elderly and reviews the effects of physical activity on body composition in middle-aged and older individuals. Surprisingly little information is available on this important topic in men and women >80 years of age. Although research to date has described a number of qualitative trends with aging and shown the correlations between changes in fat and FFM with disease risk, quantification of rate of change has proven difficult. This is partly because changes in the aging body affect the indicators of body composition, leading to estimation errors, and because few long-term longitudinal studies have been completed. The increasing awareness of the important relationships among health, nutrition, and body composition, and the profound change in population demographics projected for the next 25 to 50 years, has focused attention on this problem and will undoubtedly stimulate additional research in this area.

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Thomas Ball, Debra Bemben, Michael Bemben and Denise Smith

Edited by Scott B. Going