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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


MADRIGAL ROJAS, Elena  and  GONZALEZ URRUTIA, Ana Rocío. Nutritional status of classical ballet dancers, metropolitan area of  Costa Rica. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 2008, vol.17, n.33, pp.01-07. ISSN 1409-1429.

The main objective of the present study was to examine the nutritional status of classic ballet dancers from three of the most important ballet academies located in Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica. Study participants included twenty-four adult females (18 to 30 years old) of advanced ballet level. Threeday food records were collected from each dancer. Height, body weight and skin fold measurements were completed. Blood samples were collected for biochemical analysis. Bone density was measured by dual X-ray energy (hip and lumbar L1, L2, L3, L4). The attitudes, beliefs and risk factors for eating disorders were evaluated by interview and using the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) and Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI). Total energy intake (1880 Kcal/d ± 448.3) was considerably lower than the dietary recommendations and only niacin and vitamin B6 were consumed at optimal levels. Bone density, hemoglobin and hematocrit were within normal ranges. The results of the present study suggest that dancers with Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 20 Kg/m2 have more hypocaloric diets and major risk of eating disorders. Future studies are needed to develop strategies to improve the nutritional status of ballet dancers.

Keywords : nutritional status; ballet; eating disorders; women; Costa Rica.

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