Nutrition survey in elite rhythmic gymnasts.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy.
The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness (Impact Factor: 0.76). 12/2000; 40(4):350-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Young female rhythmic gymnasts have been identified as a potential risk group for malnutrition because of their attitude of weight reduction and leanness.
This study aimed to assess the dietary practices of 20 rhythmic gymnasts of the Italian national team, on the basis of a three-day food records collected by clinical interview. Twenty-four age-matched non-athletic females served as controls.
The reported energy intake was similar in gymnasts and controls (28.5+/-5.6 vs 28.2+/-7.8 kcal/kg b.w., per day), but less than the recommended and the estimated requirements. Energy intake from carbohydrates was higher (53+/-6 vs 49+/-6%, p<0.05) and that from lipids lower (31+/-6 vs 34+/-4%, p<0.05) in gymnasts than in controls. In the former the energy supply from breakfast was higher (24+/-2 vs 16+/-4%, p<0.001) and from snacks was lower (8+/-9 vs 17+/-10%, p<0.01). Gymnasts also distinguished from controls for lower cholesterol and saturated fatty acid intake, and for higher fibre (14+/-5 vs 9+/-2 g/1,000 kcal, p<0.001) and Vitamin A dietary content. Calcium, iron and zinc intake were less than 100% RDA in both groups.
In some ways, dietary practices of rhythmic gymnasts meet nutritional recommendations more than those of non athletic controls, though discrepancy between reported energy intake and estimated energy requirement exists. Suboptimal calcium, iron and zinc intake were observed both in gymnasts and in controls, hence minerals supplementation could be required. The dietary attitude could be regarded as a positive aspect of rhythmic gymnastics, provided athletes, physicians and coaches correct dietary errors and avoid excessive food restrictions.

  • Archivos latinoamericanos de nutrición 12/2001; 51(4):321-331.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Weight Management Weight management is the term used for both healthy weight loss and weight gain. Gymnastics includes seven disciplines and each has its own challenges and problems with weight management. Some athletes require building of body mass, muscle and power, while others need strength and flexibility on a small frame. In acrobatic gymnastics, an athlete who had the goal of weight loss as a top or flyer, can then switch to weight gain and muscle building as a base in a pair or group. The medical professional treating gymnasts must have a working knowledge of energy needs and expenditure, healthy nutrition, fluid balance, supplements and sports psychology. They also need to be able to recognize and treat (or refer) athletes with disordered eating patterns, clinical eating disorders and the abuse of substances for rapid weight gain or weight loss. Poor weight management practices can lead to serious short and long-term medical complications, increased injury potential and adverse performance implications. Daily or frequent weight measurement is not a reliable or accurate way to follow the athlete's energy balance or fitness. It is an especially stressful activity for the athlete and can encourage unhealthy eating behaviors and fluid management. Serial skin-fold measurements for body fat and measurements of muscle strength and endurance are the best way to monitor weight and strength changes and should be done by a medical professional. The weight management plan should be developed with the guidance of a sports nutritionist or dietician, with assistance from the athlete, parents, doctor and coach.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence and relationship between eating behavior disorders and body image distortion in rhythmic gymnastics' athletes who participate in a competitive sports context. METHODS: 48 rhythmic gymnastics athletes from the junior and senior categories and 48 elementary and high school students (control group) participated in the study. For the identification of eating behavior disorder the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26) was used and to determine body image dissatisfaction the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ). For statistic analysis the Kruskall-Wallis test (p<0.05) and Spearman Correlation were used. RESULTS: there were not statistical differences between the gymnastics group and the students group for eating behavior disorder; a significant correlation was noticed between eating behavior disorder and body image distortion for the athletes from younger junior (10-12 years old) and older junior (12-14 years old) sport categories. Descriptive analysis revealed that 27.2% (4 gymnastics/10-12 years old); 20.0% (4 gymnasts/13-14 years old) presented suggestive behavior of eating disorder. Two gymnasts aged 10-12 years old (10.0%), five gymnasts aged 13-14 years old (15.0%) and five 15 years old gymnasts (100%) presented body image distortion. CONCLUSION: The evidence points that the adolescents' behavioral and cognitive perception related to the environment's esthetic demands in which they are inserted seem to be a main factor to be taken in consideration as for the presence of behavior that suggests eating disorder and body image distortion.
    Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte 12/2009; 15(6):410-414.