A.F. Brown, S. Brooks, M. Meenan

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Dance emphasizes a lean physique, which likely influences dietary intake (DI) and body composition (BC). Additionally, for collegiate dancers, optimal DI and BC may be difficult to maintain due to the additional stressors of the college environment. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to longitudinally assess DI and BC in female collegiate dancers across one academic year. METHODS: Female collegiate dancers (n=14; ages 19±2 yr), completed three visits at the beginning of each semester (V1: fall17, V2: spring18, V3: fall18). Visits included completion of a 3-day food log (two weekdays and one weekend day); height and weight using a digital scale and stadiometer (APEX Deteco, Webb City, MO); and a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan (Horizon Hologic, Marlborough, MA) to assess fat mass (FM), lean mass (LM), and bone mineral density (BMD). Food logs were analyzed using Food Processor (ESHA, 10.13.1, Salem, OR). Statistical analyses were completed using SPSS Statistics (v. 24). Data were reported as mean±SD and significance was accepted at pRESULTS: Total calories (V1: 2,478±748 kcal, V3: 1,496.76±741 kcal, p=0.007), carbohydrate intake (V1: 4.4±1.6 g/kg/d, V3: 2.9±1.6 g/kg/d, p= 0.031), and fat intake (V1: 91±31 g, V3: 59±22 g, p=0.036) significantly decreased from V1 to V3. Protein intake did not significantly change between visits (V1: 1.4±0.6 g/kg/d, V2: 1.2±0.7 g/kg/d, V3: 1.0±0.3 g/kg/d). No differences were observed between visits for weight (V1: 67.7±12.5 kg; V2: 68.9±13.1 kg; V3: 70.7±16.5 kg), BMI (V1: 24.5±4.1 kg/m2, V2: 24.7±4.1 kg/m2, V3: 25.7±4.8 kg/m2), FM (V1: 34.0±5.7%, V2: 34.1±5.0%, V3: 33.7±7.1%), LM (V1: 62.4±5.4%, V2: 62.2±4.6%, V3: 64.1±6.7%), and BMD (V1: 1.2±0.7 g/cm2, V2: 1.2±0.1 g/cm2, V3: 1.1±0.1 g/cm2). CONCLUSION: Regardless of decreases in DI, female collegiate dancers maintained LM and FM over the academic year. However, FM reported in the current study is higher than previously reported collegiate or professional dancers. Protein and carbohydrate intake indicate the need for nutrition education in this population in order to avoid decrements in performance and muscle mass over the collegiate career. Further investigation is warranted to assess what may be contributing to increasingly poor dietary behavior in a collegiate dance environment.

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