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Gladys Block, Christopher D. Jensen, Torin J. Block, Jean Norris, Tapashi B. Dalvi and Ellen B. Fung

Background:

Understanding and increasing physical activity requires assessment of occupational, home, leisure and sedentary activities.

Methods:

A physical activity questionnaire was developed using data from a large representative U.S. sample; includes occupational, leisure and home-based domains; and produces estimates of energy expenditure, percent body fat, minutes in various domains, and meeting recommendations. It was tested in 396 persons, mean age 44 years. Estimates were evaluated in relation to percent body fat measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Results:

Median energy expenditure was 2,365 kcal (women) and 2,960 kcal (men). Women spent 35.1 minutes/day in moderate household activities, 13.0 minutes in moderate leisure and 4.0 minutes in vigorous activities. Men spent 18.0, 22.5 and 15.6 minutes/day in those activities, respectively. Men and women spent 276.4 and 257.0 minutes/day in sedentary activities. Respondents who met recommendations through vigorous activities had significantly lower percent body fat than those who did not, while meeting recommendations only through moderate activities was not associated with percent body fat. Predicted and observed percent body fat correlated at r = .73 and r = .82 for men and women respectively, P < .0001.

Conclusions:

This questionnaire may be useful for understanding health effects of different components of activity, and for interventions to increase activity levels.

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Jason Wicke and Genevieve A. Dumas

Body segment inertial parameters are required as input parameters when the kinetics of human motion is to be analyzed. However, owing to interindividual differences in body composition, noninvasive inertial estimates are problematic. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a relatively new imaging approach that can provide cost- and time-effective means for estimating these parameters with minimal exposure to radiation. With the introduction of a new generation of DXA machines, utilizing a fan-beam configuration, this study examined their accuracy as well as a new interpolative data-reduction process for estimating inertial parameters. Specifically, the inertial estimates of two objects (an ultra-high molecular density plastic rod and an animal specimen) and 50 participants were obtained. Results showed that the fan-beam DXA, along with the new interpolative data-reduction process, provided highly accurate estimates (0.10–0.39%). A greater variance was observed in the center of mass location and moment of inertia estimates, likely as a result of the course end-point location (1.31 cm). However, using a midpoint interpolation of the end-point locations, errors in the estimates were greatly reduced for the center of mass location (0.64–0.92%) and moments of inertia (–0.23 to –0.48%).

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Johann C. Bilsborough, Thomas Kempton, Kate Greenway, Justin Cordy and Aaron J. Coutts

Purpose:

To compare development and variations in body composition of early-, mid-, and late-career professional Australian Football (AF) players over 3 successive seasons.

Methods:

Regional and total-body composition (body mass [BM], fat mass [FM], fat-free soft-tissue mass [FFSTM], and bone mineral content [BMC]) were assessed 4 times, at the same time of each season—start preseason (SP), end preseason (EP), midseason (MS), and end season (ES)—from 22 professional AF players using pencil-beam dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Nutritional intake for each player was evaluated concomitantly using 3-d food diaries. Players were classified according to their age at the beginning of the observational period as either early- (<21 y, n = 8), mid- (21 to 25 y, n = 9), or late- (>25 y, n = 5) career athletes.

Results:

Early-career players had lower FFSTM, BMC, and BM than mid- and late-career throughout. FM and %FM had greatest variability, particularly in the early-career players. FM reduced and FFSTM increased from SP to EP, while FM and FFSTM decreased from EP to MS. FM increased and FFSTM decreased from MS to ES, while FM and FFSTM increased during the off-season.

Conclusions:

Early-career players may benefit from greater emphasis on specific nutrition and resistance-training strategies aimed at increasing FFSTM, while all players should balance training and diet toward the end of season to minimize increases in FM.

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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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Ana Anton-Solanas, Barry V. O’Neill, Tessa E. Morris and Joe Dunbar

Purpose:

To assess changes in body composition and monitor cognitive function, subjective well-being, and physiological stress, as measured by salivary hormones and markers of mucosal immunity, during an Antarctic expedition.

Methods:

A 36-y-old man (188.2 cm height, 94.5 kg body mass) took part in a world-record attempt. A total-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan and measurement of 8 skinfolds and 5 girths were performed before and after the expedition. In addition, daily subjective data were recorded (sleep quality, total hours of sleep, energy levels, perceived exertion, mood, muscle soreness, and muscle/joint pain) along with distance covered and hours of physical activity per day. As a measure of cognitive function, the athlete completed a computerized battery of tasks (Axon Sports Cognitive Priming Application) every third morning. Saliva samples were collected before, during, and after the expedition to determine salivary cortisol (sCort), testosterone (sT), alpha amylase (sAA), and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA).

Results:

The athlete lost 5.3 kg body mass and sum of 8 skinfolds decreased from 73 mm to 59 mm from preexpedition to postexpedition. Psychomotor speed declined over the course of the expedition. sT increased and sCort decreased throughout, and sAA and sIgA peaked toward the end of the expedition.

Conclusions:

This case study provides novel data about the physiological and cognitive impact of an Antarctic expedition. The findings may inform strategies for future expeditions, allowing individuals undertaking expeditions of this nature to better prepare for success.

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Michael J. Davies, Gail P. Dalsky and Paul M. Vanderburgh

This study employed allometry to scale maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2 max) by body mass (BM) and lean body mass (LBM) in healthy older men. Ratio standards (ml · kg−1 · min−1) derived by dividing absolute V̇O2 max (L · min−1) by BM or LBM often fail to control for the body size variable. The subjects were 73 older men (mean ± SD: age = 69.7 ± 4.3 yrs, BM = 80.2 ± 9.6 kg, height = 174.1 ± 6.9 cm). V̇O2 max was assessed on a treadmill with the modified Balke protocol (V̇O2 max = 2.2 ± 0.4 L · min−1). Body fat (27.7 ± 6.4%) was assessed with dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Allometry applied to BM and V̇O2 max determined the BM exponent to be 0.43, suggesting that heavier older men are being penalized when ratio standards are used. Allometric scaling applied to LBM revealed the LBM exponent to be 1.05 (not different from the ratio standard exponent of 1.0). These data suggest that the use of ratio standards to evaluate aerobic fitness in older men penalized fatter older men but not those with higher LBM.

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Deborah Fearnley, Louise Sutton, John O’Hara, Amy Brightmore, Roderick King and Carlton Cooke

The Vendée Globe is a solo round-the-world sailing race without stopovers or assistance, a physically demanding challenge for which appropriate nutrition should maintain energy balance and ensure optimum performance. This is an account of prerace nutritional preparation with a professional and experienced female racer and assessment of daily nutritional intake (NI) during the race using a multimethod approach. A daily energy intake (EI) of 15.1 MJ/day was recommended for the race and negotiated down by the racer to 12.7 MJ/day, with carbohydrate and fluid intake goals of 480 g/day and 3,020 ml/day, respectively. Throughout the 99-day voyage, daily NI was recorded using electronic food diaries and inventories piloted during training races. NI was assessed and a postrace interview and questionnaire were used to evaluate the intervention. Fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were assessed pre- (37 days) and postrace (11 days) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and body mass was measured before the racer stepped on the yacht and immediately postrace. Mean EI was 9.2 MJ/day (2.4–14.3 MJ/day), representing a negative energy balance of 3.5 MJ/day under the negotiated EI goal, evidenced by a 7.9-kg loss of body mass (FM –7.5 kg, FFM –0.4 kg) during the voyage, with consequent underconsumption of carbohydrate by ~130 g/day. According to the postrace yacht food inventory, self-reported EI was underreported by 7%. This intervention demonstrates the practicality of the NI approach and assessment, but the racer’s nutrition strategy can be further improved to facilitate meeting more optimal NI goals for performance and health. It also shows that evaluation of NI is possible in this environment over prolonged periods, which can provide important information for optimizing nutritional strategies for ocean racing.

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Nuno M. Pimenta, Helena Santa-Clara, Xavier Melo, Helena Cortez-Pinto, José Silva-Nunes and Luís B. Sardinha

Central accumulation and distribution of body fat (BF) is an important cardiometabolic risk factor. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), commonly elevated in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients, has been endorsed as a risk related marker of central BF content and distribution, but no standardized waist circumference measurement protocol (WCmp) has been proposed. We aimed to investigate whether using different WCmp affects the strength of association between WHR and BF content and distribution in NAFLD patients. BF was assessed with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 28 NAFLD patients (19 males, 51 ± 13 years, and 9 females, 47 ± 13 years). Waist circumference (WC) was measured using four different WCmp (WC1: minimal waist; WC2: iliac crest; WC3: mid-distance between iliac crest and lowest rib; WC4: at the umbilicus) and WHR was calculated accordingly (WHR1, WHR2, WHR3 and WHR4, respectively). High WHR was found in up to 84.6% of subjects, depending on the WHR considered. With the exception of WHR1, all WHR correlated well with abdominal BF (r = .47 for WHR1; r = .59 for WHR2 and WHR3; r = .58 for WHR4) and BF distribution (r = .45 for WHR1; r = .56 for WHR2 and WHR3; r = .51 for WHR4), controlling for age, sex and body mass index (BMI). WHR2 and WHR3 diagnosed exactly the same prevalence of high WHR (76.9%). The present study confirms the strong relation between WHR and central BF, regardless of WCmp used, in NAFLD patients. WHR2 and WHR3 seemed preferable for use in clinical practice, interchangeably, for the diagnosis of high WHR in NAFLD patients.

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Claudia Ridel Juzwiak, Olga Maria Silverio Amancio, Maria Sylvia Souza Vitalle, Vera Lúcia Szejnfeld and Marcelo Medeiros Pinheiro

In this prospective, cross-sectional study male adolescent tennis players (44) and nonathletic controls (32) were evaluated to determine the effects of physical activity, dietary nutrient intakes, sexual maturation, and body composition on bone-mineral density (BMD). Dietary nutrient intakes and physical activity expenditure were estimated by 4-d diaries. Total body composition, bone-mineral content (BMC), and BMD (L1–L4, femur, and nondominant forearm) were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Tennis players had significantly greater lean body mass (mean [SEM] 50.6 [1.6] kg vs. 45.1 [1.7] kg, p = .022), trochanter BMD (1.0 [0.02] g/cm2 vs. 0.9 [0.03] g/cm2, p = .032), and dominant forearm BMC (173.7 [7.4] g vs. 146.5 [9.3] g) but lower BMD in the nondominant forearm (0.7 [0.02] g/cm2 vs. 0.8 [0.03] g/cm2, p = .028). Daily average calcium intake was below the recommendation in both groups. No correlation was found between BMD and calcium intake and exercise. Lean body mass was the best predictor of BMD and BMC for both tennis players and controls (R 2 = .825, .628, and .693 for L1–L4, total femur, and nondominant forearm, respectively). Based on these results the authors conclude that lean body mass is the best predictor of BMD and BMC for both tennis players and others. Tennis exerts a site-specific effect, and training should focus on ways minimize this effect. Although calcium intake showed no effect on BMD, nutrition education for young athletes should focus on promoting a balanced diet, providing energy and nutrients in adequate amounts.

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James P. Veale, Alan J. Pearce, David Buttifant and John S. Carlson

Purpose:

Body structure and physical development must be addressed when preparing junior athletes for their first season in a senior competition. The aim of this preliminary study was to measure the extent of the assumption that final year junior Australian Football (AF) athletes are at a physical mismatch to their senior counterparts.

Methods:

Twenty-one male participants (17.71 ± 0.27 y) were recruited from one state based elite junior AF competition and forty-one male participants (22.80 ± 4.24 y) were recruited from one club competing in the senior elite Australian Football League (AFL), who were subsequently divided into two groups; professional rookies aged 18-20 y (19.44 ± 0.70 y; n = 18) and professional seniors aged 21+ y (25.43 ± 3.98 y; n = 23). Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans of all participants were completed.

Results:

Despite being an average 6.0% and 6.1% lighter in total weight and lean mass respectively, no significant difference was found between the elite junior athletes and their professional AFL rookie counterparts. However, significant differences were demonstrated in comparison with the professional AFL senior athletes (P < .01). Both professional AFL groups demonstrated greater than 0.3 kg total bone mineral content (BMC) than the elite junior athletes (P < .01) and significantly greater segmental BMC and bone mineral density (BMD) results (P < .05).

Conclusion:

While the results identify the differences in body composition of the elite junior athletes, development in a linear fashion is noted, providing useful information for the creation of age appropriate expectations and training programs.