Body Composition, Dietary Intake and the Risk of Low Energy Availability in Elite-Level Competitive Rhythmic Gymnasts

  1. Villa, María 1
  2. Villa-Vicente, José G. 2
  3. Seco-Calvo, Jesus 23
  4. Mielgo-Ayuso, Juan 4
  5. Collado, Pilar S. 2
  1. 1 Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca
    info

    Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca

    Salamanca, España

    GRID grid.449312.9

  2. 2 Universidad de León
    info

    Universidad de León

    León, España

    GRID grid.4807.b

  3. 3 Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea
    info

    Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

    Lejona, España

    GRID grid.11480.3c

  4. 4 Universidad de Burgos
    info

    Universidad de Burgos

    Burgos, España

    GRID grid.23520.36

Journal:
Nutrients

ISSN: 2072-6643

Year of publication: 2021

Volume: 13

Issue: 6

Pages: 2083

Type: Article

Export: RIS
DOI: 10.3390/nu13062083 GOOGLE SCHOLAR

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze dietary intake and body composition in a group of elite-level competitive rhythmic gymnasts from Spain. We undertook body composition and nutritional analysis of 30 elite gymnasts, divided into two groups by age: pre-teen (9–12 years) (n = 17) and teen (13–18 years) (n = 13). Measures of height, weight, and bioimpedance were used to calculate body mass index and percent body fat. Energy and nutrient intakes were assessed based on 7-day food records. The two groups had similar percentages of total body fat (pre-teen: 13.99 ± 3.83% vs. teen: 14.33 ± 5.57%; p > 0.05). The energy availability values for pre-teens were above the recommended values (>40 kcal/FFM/day) 69.38 ± 14.47 kcal/FFM/day, while those for the teens were much lower (34.7 ± 7.5 kcal/FFM/day). The distribution of the daily energy intake across the macronutrients indicates that both groups ingested less than the recommended level of carbohydrates and more than the recommended level of fat. Very low intakes of calcium and vitamin D among other micronutrients were also noted. The main finding is that teenage gymnasts do not consume as much energy as they need each day, which explains their weight and development. Moreover, they are at a high risk of developing low energy availability that could negatively impact their performance and future health.

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