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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Feb 23

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.11817-1

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Body composition and eating behaviour in non-professional adolescent female dancers

Martina ROSSELLI 1, 2, Francesco SOFI 2, 3, Martina RIZZO 2, Laura STEFANI 1, 2

1 Sport and Exercise Medicine Unit, Careggi Hospital-University, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 3 Clinical Nutrition Unit, Careggi Hospital-University, Florence, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Dance is one of the most practiced sports in women’s childhood and adolescence. It is often difficult for dancers to maintain a normal body composition without changing their eating habits, despite the presence of high intensity training. The study aims to investigate, through nutritional habits and body composition, the impact of this sports regime in the prepubertal period.
METHODS: Two groups of 10 adolescent dancers of classic and modern style were evaluated in terms of anthropometric parameters and hydration. Lifestyle, eating habits, adherence to Mediterranean diet, characteristics of menstrual cycle and risk stratification of Athletes’ Triad Syndrome were evaluated through questionnaires. The data were reinterpreted based on the presence or absence of menarche.
RESULTS: The average BMI value was within the normal range (17.9 ± 2.2 kg/m2) in both groups. No significant differences emerged for anthropometric parameters and body composition between the two groups with the exclusion of the suprailiac fold which was significantly lower in G2 (classical: 0.1 ± 0.1 mm) compared to G1 (modern: 11.0 ± 6.6 mm) p < 0.001. Instead, differences observed (p < 0.05) was related to the presence or absence of the menstrual cycle. Despite the poor adherence to the Mediterranean diet, there was no evidence of risk of developing eating disorders or Athletes’ Triad Syndrome.
CONCLUSIONS: The training of classical and modern dance does not seem to have any negative impact on the body composition especially in pre-pubertal age. The onset of the menarche determines the major modification of the body composition.


KEY WORDS: Dance; Sport; Lifestyle; Body composition

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