Using athlete's plate for easy training/weight management with dancers
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Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine if Athlete’s Plate for Easy Training/ Weight Management used with dancers for 6 months would improve their body composition (decreasing body fat percentage and increasing lean muscle mass), bone mineral density (BMD), and resting metabolic rate (RMR). The purpose was also to determine if Athlete’s Plate for Easy Training Weight Management would decrease fatigue and help dancers achieve regular menstruation status. Method: Thirteen dancers were recruited for the study and received nutrition education and consultations regarding Athlete’s Plate. Data were collected using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, resting metabolic rate, food frequency charts, 3-day food and physical activity diaries, Body Image Spectrum, and a health questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions on demographics, health history, physical activity and dance activity history, food eating patterns, eating disorder risk assessment, and a fatigue assessment. Results: Decreases in fat mass, percentage of body fat, android fat, and android/gynoid (A/G) ratio, and an increase in total mass, lean mass, fat free mass, and gynoid mass were observed; however, there was no significant difference in body composition between the initial and final assessments. There was a slight decrease in total BMD, and BMD in legs, trunk, spine, and pelvis, and an increase in BMD of arms and ribs; however none of these were significantly different between initial and final assessments. There was no significant difference between predicted basal energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate. There was a significant decrease in fatigue (p-value 0.007, α =0.05 ) between initial and final assessments. The food frequency showed dancers did not achieve the expected Athlete’s Plate of half of their plate fruits and vegetables, 1/4 of their plate protein, and 1/6 to 1/4 of their plate complex carbohydrates; however, dietary intakes suggest they were moving in the direction of Athlete’s Plate portions and content. Nine of 10 participants were eumenorrheic and 1 of 10 were oligomenorrheic at the initial assessment; there were no changes in their menstrual status at the end of the study. Conclusion: There is potential for using Athlete’s Plate to decrease fatigue and improve body composition in dancers; however, further research is needed.