Profiling the Diet and Body Composition of Subelite Adolescent Rhythmic Gymnasts

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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The aim of this study was to investigate the body composition and dietary intake of competitive club-level rhythmic gymnasts, who represent the larger cohort of the sport’s practitioners. Fifty-five rhythmic gymnasts and 55 nonathlete females (13–19 years of age) were seen individually to collect a dietary recall and to take anthropometric data and bioelectric-impedance analysis. Gymnasts had lower body-mass index and lesser skinfold thickness, although middle arm-muscle circumference was similar in the 2 groups. Gymnasts had lower body-fat measures but normal levels of fat-free mass (FFM) and body-cellular mass. Gymnasts had better dietary habits than the age-matched controls. Low levels of calcium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc and a disparity between reported energy intake and estimated energy requirement were observed in both groups.

D’Alessandro, Morelli, Evangelisti, Galetta, Franzoni, and Cupisti are with the Dept. of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa Via Roma, 67 - 56126 Pisa, Italy. Lazzeri and Piazza are with the Italian Gymnastics Federation, CONI, Largo Lauro De Bosis, 15 - 00194 Rome, Italy.