Hope Sternenberg, William Lee, Rebecca R. Rogers, Christopher G. Ballmann, FACSM, Tyler D. Williams. Samford University, Birmingham, AL.

BACKGROUND: Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is a valid assessment of body composition and is used in clinical practice and research studies. Currently, the pre-assessment instructions, including food consumption, prior to DXA scans are vague and research is lacking. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of food consumption on body composition results recorded through DXA. METHODS: Sixteen physically active, college-aged, males were recruited to participate in this study. Subjects completed two visits in a randomized and counterbalanced order that consisted of a fasted DXA scan and another DXA scan 10 minutes after consuming different quantities of food. During one visit, subjects consumed a nutritional bar (80 g) containing 330 kcals with 500 mL of water (SNACK) between the first and second DXA scan. During the next visit, subjects consumed two nutritional bars (160 g) containing 660 kcals and 500 mL of water (MEAL) between first and second DXA scans. Total mass, lean mass, fat mass, and bone mineral content for the total body, trunk, arms, and legs were recorded and analyzed to determine difference between baseline and post-meal DXA scans. A 2 × 2 repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine differences in tissue mass between conditions for each body segment. RESULTS: Total body mass (p <0.001), total fat mass (p = 0.019), and total lean mass (p < 0.001) increased after consuming the SNACK and MEAL. Trunk mass (p <0.001), trunk fat mass (p = 0.007), and trunk lean mass (p < 0.001) increased after consuming the SNACK and MEAL. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that consuming food of small and large quantities prior to a DXA assessment can affect body composition results, primarily in total body measurements and the trunk.

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