Document Detail

Special attention to the weight-control strategies employed by Olympic athletes striving for leanness is required.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18185032     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Optimization of body weight and composition is a key priority for elite athletes striving for a competitive advantage. The present investigation was designed to characterize various parameters related to weight control in Olympic competitors. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Research unit at a University Hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 223 athletes (125 men and 98 women, with only 1 drop-out), all members of the Swedish teams participating in the Olympic Games of 2002 and 2004. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported body weight and height, from which BMI was calculated, variation in weight during the year prior to Olympic competition, and self-reported weight control strategies by questionnaire. The athletes were divided into two groups on the basis of whether their sporting discipline emphasized leanness or not. RESULTS: The athletes participating in disciplines that emphasize leanness demonstrated a lower mean BMI (22.7 +/- 2.7 vs 3.7 +/- 2.3 for nonlean athletes, P < 0.05), greater variation in weight (5.3% vs 4.7%, P < 0.05), more frequent attempts to lose weight (P < 0.001), longer total training time (P < 0.001), a higher training load yet weighed more than they desired at the time of competition. These differences were most evident in male athletes. Furthermore, 9.4% of lean athletes reported previously suffering from an eating disorder, in comparison to 2.7% of the nonlean athletes (P < 0.05). More athletes in disciplines emphasizing leanness also reported being ill during the prior 3 month period (38.5% vs 21.6%, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This investigation reveals that the weight control practices employed by Olympic athletes participating disciplines that emphasize leanness appear to be suboptimal. Counseling concerning weight control could be used as a tool to prevent illness and enhance performance.
Magnus Hagmar; Angelica Lindén Hirschberg; Lukas Berglund; Bo Berglund
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical journal of sport medicine : official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine     Volume:  18     ISSN:  1050-642X     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin J Sport Med     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-01-10     Completed Date:  2008-03-05     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9103300     Medline TA:  Clin J Sport Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  5-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Departments of Woman and Child Health, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Body Mass Index
Cross-Sectional Studies
Overweight / prevention & control*
Comment In:
Clin J Sport Med. 2008 Jan;18(1):2-4   [PMID:  18185031 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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