K. Peterson, K. Brown, C.A. Vella, FACSM, A. Brown, S. Stoll, J. Beller

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

PURPOSE: To examine energy availability (EA) and the relationships with eating disorder risk, body composition and stress in Division I student-athletes. METHODS: 100 participants were recruited for the study. Participants visited the Human Performance Laboratory on two occasions with no more than 7 days between visits. Visit one consisted of completion of the Perceived Stress Scale and Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26). Eating disorder risk was defined as a score 20 or presence of one or more extreme weight control behaviors on the EAT-26. Participants were instructed to complete accelerometry (ActiGraphGT3X+), physical activity logs and dietary intake (ASA24®) for three days (two weekdays and one weekend day) to assess EA. Visit two included a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan to measure body composition (lean mass, LM and fat mass, FM). EA was calculated using the following equation: (energy intake - exercise energy expenditure) kcal/kg LM/day and categorized into low (30 kcal/kg LM/day), reduced (30-45 kcal/kg LM/day), and adequate (45 kcal/kg LM/day).Independent t-tests were performed to compare differences in all variables by sex. Pearson correlations were performed to assess relationships between EA and eating disorder risk, body composition, and stress. Significance was accepted at p<0.05. RESULTS:81 participants (M: n=38, age 20.0±1.4 years, F: n=43, age 19.7±1.2 years) completed the study. Demographics were assessed by sex including body mass index (M: 27.5±6.8 kg/m2; F: 22.3±2.7 kg/m2). No differences were observed in EA by sex (M: 41.1±13.7 kcal/kg LM/day; F: 41.1±12.6 kcal/kg LM/day; p=0.995), however both fell into the reduced EA category. Differences were observed by sex in LM (M: 75.7±7.3%; F: 69.4±5.2%; p=0.001), FM (M: 20.5±7.7%; F: 26.9±5.2%; p=0.001) and stress (M: 13.7±6.0; F: 16.9±6.2; p=0.021). EA was significantly correlated with FM % (r=-0.274, r2=0.075, p=0.013) and LM % (r=0.272, r2=.074, p=0.014). CONCLUSION: EA did not differ by sex. However, both males and females fell into the reduced category, suggesting a greater need for EA assessment in the male population. Additionally, EA was negatively correlated with FM % and positively correlated with LM %. This implies adequate EA is related to a more optimal body composition.

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