Comparison of Body Composition and Energy Intake of Young Female Ballet Dancers and Ordinary School Girls


The aim of this study is to assess body fat level, energy and nutrient intake of adolescent ballet dancers and to compare these results with those of adolescents from ordinary school. Participants included 39 ballet dancers and 70 adolescents from ordinary school. Body composition was measured using a multi-frequency 8-polar bioelectrical impedance leg-to-hand analyser (X-Scan Plus II, Korea). Dietary intakes were assessed using a three-day estimated food record. Nutritional intake was calculated using the Nutri Survey software. Ballet dancers were slightly shorter, lighter, with less fat and fat-free mass compared to girls from ordinary school. 51.3% (95% CI 35.59 to 66.97) of ballet dancers and 4% (95% CI; 0.27 to 11.15) of ordinary school girls had a body fat level of 12% or less. The recommended amount of 35–45 kcal energy to kg fat-free mass for aesthetic sports was not reached by 42.1% (95% CI 27.61 to 50.65%) of ballet dancers. No statistically significant difference was found in percent body fat between ballet dancers who consumed energy less than the recommended amount compared to those who ate normally, but fatfree mass (p < 0.05) was lower in those who consumed 35–45 kcal energy to kg fat-free mass or less compared to those who ate more. The investigated groups had an inadequate intake of minerals and vitamins during the winter period.

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