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Mollie G. DeLozier, Bernard Gutin, Jack Wang, Charles E. Basch, Isobel Contento, Steven Shea, Matilde Irigoyen Patricia Zybert, Jill Rips and Richard Pierson

Anthropometric and bioimpedance regression equations were developed for young children using total body water (TBW) as the criterion. Ninety-six boys and girls, 4-8 years of age, served as subjects. Measures included height, weight, five skinfold thicknesses, three circumferences, total body bioimpedance, and separate bioimpedance measures of the arm, trunk, and leg. Height and weight alone accounted for .70 of the variance in TBW. Adding other measures did not significantly increase the R 2. Standard errors of estimate for TBW were similar to those reported for older individuals (1.39-1.44 1) but may be too large relative to the small size of the subjects for the equations to be acceptable.

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Marta Arroyo, José Manue González-de-Suso, Celia Sanchez, Laura Ansotegui and Ana M. Rocandio

The purpose of this study was to evaluate body composition and body image (perception and satisfaction) in a group of young elite soccer players and to compare the data with those of a control group (age and BMI matched). Participants were 56 volunteer males whose mean age and BMI were 19.6 (SD 1.3) years and 23.3 (SD 1.1) kg/m2, respectively. Results showed that soccer players have a higher lean mass and lower fat mass than controls. Moreover, body perception (difference between current and actual image) was more accurate in controls than in soccer players, and the results suggest a tendency for soccer players to aspire to have more muscle mass and body fat. Soccer players perceived an ideal image with significantly higher body-fat percentage than their current and actual images. There were no body-dissatisfaction differences between groups, however. Although the results are necessarily limited by the small sample size, the findings should be of interest to coaches of young elite soccer teams.

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Brenda L. Webster and Susan I. Barr

Calcium intake and its association with dieting behavior were assessed in female adolescents competing in an aesthetic and a nonaesthetic sport (gymnastics and speed skating). Athletes were 25 skaters and 32 gymnasts competing at a provincial level or higher. Calcium intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire; dieting behavior by the Eating Attitudes Test Dieting subscale; and body composition by skinfolds, height, and weight. Mean calcium intakes of both groups of athletes exceeded Canadian recommendations, and skaters' mean intakes exceeded U.S. recommendations; however, many individuals had low intakes. Gymnasts were leaner than skaters and had lower calcium intakes, but this difference was not associated with Dieting subscale scores, which were similar between sports and were not correlated with calcium intake. Athletes had higher mean calcium intakes than normally active adolescents studied (measured with a similar protocol) and had lower Dieting subscale scores. Thus, although calcium intakes of some athletes require attention, sport participation was associated with increased intakes. Also, for these athletes, dieting behavior did not directly interfere with calcium intake.

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Kathryn L. Beck, Sarah Mitchell, Andrew Foskett, Cathryn A Conlon and Pamela R. Von Hurst

Ballet dancing is a multifaceted activity requiring muscular power, strength, endurance, flexibility, and agility; necessitating demanding training schedules. Furthermore dancers may be under aesthetic pressure to maintain a lean physique, and adolescent dancers require extra nutrients for growth and development. This cross-sectional study investigated the nutritional status of 47 female adolescent ballet dancers (13–18 years) living in Auckland, New Zealand. Participants who danced at least 1 hr per day 5 days per week completed a 4-day estimated food record, anthropometric measurements (Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry) and hematological analysis (iron and vitamin D). Mean BMI was 19.7 ± 2.4kg/m2 and percentage body fat, 23.5 ± 4.1%. The majority (89.4%) of dancers had a healthy weight (5th-85th percentile) using BMI-for-age growth charts. Food records showed a mean energy intake of 8097.3 ± 2155.6kJ/day (48.9% carbohydrate, 16.9% protein, 33.8% fat, 14.0% saturated fat). Mean carbohydrate and protein intakes were 4.8 ± 1.4 and 1.6 ± 0.5g/kg/day respectively. Over half (54.8%) of dancers consumed less than 5g carbohydrate/kg/day, and 10 (23.8%) less than 1.2 g protein/kg/day. Over 60% consumed less than the estimated average requirement for calcium, folate, magnesium and selenium. Thirteen (28.3%) dancers had suboptimal iron status (serum ferritin (SF) <20μg/L). Of these, four had iron deficiency (SF < 12μg/L, hemoglobin (Hb) ≥ 120g/L) and one iron deficiency anemia (SF < 12μg/L, Hb < 120g/L). Mean serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D was 75.1 ± 18.6nmol/L, 41 (91.1%) had concentrations above 50nmol/L. Female adolescent ballet dancers are at risk for iron deficiency, and possibly inadequate nutrient intakes.

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Francesco Campa and Stefania Toselli

Purpose: To establish a specific player profile on body-composition parameters and to provide a data set of bioelectric impedances values for male volleyball players. Methods: The study included 201 athletes (age 26.1 [5.4] y, height 191.9 [9.7] cm, weight 86.8 [10.8] kg) registered in the Italian volleyball divisions. The athletes were divided into 3 groups: The elite group comprised 75 players participating in the 1st (Super Lega) division, the subelite group included 65 athletes performing in the 2nd (Serie A2) division, and the low-level group included 61 players participating in the 3rd (Serie B) division. Bioelectric impedance, body weight, and height of the athletes were measured in the second half of the competitive season. In addition, bioelectrical impedance vector analysis was performed. Results: The elite group showed a greater amount of fat-free mass (FFM) and total body water (TBW) and a lower fat mass (FM) than the subelite group (P < .05). In addition, the elite players were taller and heavier and had a higher FFM, FM, TBW, and body cellular mass than the low-level athletes (P < .05). Finally, the mean impedance vectors of the elite group significantly differed from those measured in the normal population and in the other 2 groups (P < .05). Conclusions: This study provides an original data set of body-composition and bioelectric impedance reference values of elite male volleyball players. The results might be useful for interpretation of individual bioimpedance vectors and for defining target regions for volleyball players.

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William A. Sands, Cindy Slater, Jeni R. McNeal, Steven Ross Murray and Michael H. Stone

The lay press, scientists, and physicians appear to believe that gymnasts are continually getting smaller and that their “smallness” is a health risk.

Purpose:

To assess the historical changes in the size and age of the US women’s Olympic gymnastics teams from 1956 to 2008.

Methods:

The official records from the US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics of Olympic team members were assessed at 2 levels: individual height, mass, age, and body-mass index (BMI) and the team performance scores and rankings. Fourteen Olympic teams with a total of 106 team members, including the alternates, were included. Trend analyses were conducted using linear and polynomial models.

Results:

Simple linear correlations indicated that since 1956, height, mass, age, BMI, and team Olympic rank have been declining. However, second-order polynomial curve fits indicated that in the last 4 Olympic Games the members of the US women’s gymnastics teams have been getting larger.

Conclusion:

Women Olympic gymnasts were getting smaller through approximately the 1980s and early 1990s. Since then the size of these gymnasts has increased. The minimum-age rule modifications may have played a role in athlete size changes along with a shift from the near dominance of the former communist Eastern Bloc.

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Ken A. van Someren and Glyn Howatson

Purpose:

To determine the relative importance of anthropometric and physiological attributes for performance in the 1000-m, 500-m, and 200-m flatwater kayaking events.

Methods:

Eighteen competitive male kayakers completed performance trials over the 3 distances and a battery of anthropometric and physiological tests.

Results:

Performance times (mean ± SD) for 1000 m, 500 m, and 200 m were 262.56 ± 36.44 s, 122.10 ± 5.74 s, and 41.59 ± 2.12 s, respectively. Performance in all 3 events was correlated with a number of physiological parameters; in addition, 500-m and 200-m performance was correlated with upper body dimensions. 1000-m time was predicted by power output at lactate turnpoint expressed as a percentage of maximal aerobic power, work done in a 30-s ergometry test and work done in a 2-min ergometry test (adjusted R 2 = 0.71, SEE = 5.72 s); 500-m time was predicted by work done and the fatigue index in a 30-s ergometry test, work done in a 2-min ergometry test, peak isometric and isokinetic function (adjusted R 2 = 0.79, SEE = 2.49 s); 200-m time was predicted by chest circumference, humeral breadth, peak power, work done, and the fatigue index in a 30-s ergometry test (adjusted R 2 = 0.71, SEE = 0.71 s).

Conclusions:

A number of physiological variables are correlated with performance in all events. 1000-m, 500-m, and 200-m times were predicted with a standard error of only 2.2%, 2.0%, and 1.7%, respectively.

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Gregory Shaw and Iñigo Mujika

Reports detailing the physiques of open-water (OW) swimmers are limited. Data from anthropometric screening around competition provides a unique opportunity to describe the current physical attributes of elite OW swimmers peaking for international competition. Anthropometric screening was undertaken on a group of Australian and French OW swimmers as part of performance monitoring within 2 wk of the 2015 FINA World Championships. Height, mass, and sum of 7 skinfolds were measured using ISAK standardized measurement techniques by 2 trained anthropometrists. Data were collated and compared with previously published data on OW and pool swimmers. French swimmers had lower skinfolds (57.3 ± 6.1 vs 80.5 ± 21.3 mm, P = .0258), were lighter (64.7 ± 10.8 vs 74.6 ± 11.8 kg, P = .013), and had lower lean-mass index (LMI) (34.7 ± 7.3 vs 38.2 ± 8.8, P = .035) than Australian swimmers. Male and female OW swimmers had skinfolds similar to their contemporary OW swimmers but were lower than earlier reports of OW swimmers; however, they were higher than those of pool swimmers. Male and female OW swimmers had 9% and 6% lower LMI, respectively, than pool swimmers. Lower body mass and LMI were correlated with better World Championships finishing positions (R 2 = .46, P = .0151, and R 2 = .45, P = .0177, respectively). These data are a unique report of elite OW swimmers’ physiques around international competition and demonstrate a potential morphological optimization in OW swimmers that warrants further investigation in larger populations.

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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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April J. Chambers, Alison L. Sukits, Jean L. McCrory and Rakié Cham

Age, obesity, and gender can have a significant impact on the anthropometrics of adults aged 65 and older. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in body segment parameters derived using two methods: (1) a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) subject-specific method (Chambers et al., 2010) and (2) traditional regression models (de Leva, 1996). The impact of aging, gender, and obesity on the potential differences between these methods was examined. Eighty-three healthy older adults were recruited for participation. Participants underwent a whole-body DXA scan (Hologic QDR 1000/W). Mass, length, center of mass, and radius of gyration were determined for each segment. In addition, traditional regressions were used to estimate these parameters (de Leva, 1996). A mixed linear regression model was performed (α = 0.05). Method type was significant in every variable of interest except forearm segment mass. The obesity and gender differences that we observed translate into differences associated with using traditional regressions to predict anthropometric variables in an aging population. Our data point to a need to consider age, obesity, and gender when utilizing anthropometric data sets and to develop regression models that accurately predict body segment parameters in the geriatric population, considering gender and obesity.