Nutritional status of female athletes with subclinical eating disorders.J Am Diet Assoc. 1998 Apr; 98(4):419-25.JA
To assess the energy and nutritional status of female athletes with subclinical eating disorders and compare them with that of control subjects and standard norms.
Group classification (subclinical eating disorder or control) was based on responses to a health and diet history questionnaire, a battery of self-report eating disorder questionnaires, and an in-depth interview. Energy and nutrient intakes and energy expenditure were determined by means of 7-day weighed food records and 7-day activity logs. Micronutrient status was assessed for iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B-12, and folate.
Twenty-four female athletes with subclinical eating disorders and 24 female control athletes.
Descriptive statistics were used to analyze demographic data. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine group differences in energy and nutrient intakes, energy balance, and blood values.
Groups were similar in age, height, weight, fat-free mass, and body mass index. Mean energy intake was lower in the group with subclinical eating disorders (1,989 kcal/day) than in the control group (2,300 kcal/day; P=.004), whereas mean energy expenditures were similar (2,405 and 2,293 kcal/day, respectively). The group with subclinical eating disorders had significantly (P<.05) lower mean protein and fat intakes compared with the control group; mean micronutrient intakes were not significantly different. Mean status measures for iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B-12, and folate were within the normal ranges for both groups and no differences were noted between the groups. A similar number of athletes within each group used vitamin/mineral supplements < or = 4 times per week.
Although female athletes with subclinical eating disorders had dietary intakes of energy, protein, carbohydrate, and certain micronutrients that were below recommended levels, micronutrient status appeared relatively unaffected, probably due to their use of supplements.