Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UW Health Sports Medicine Center weighs in on body fat

23.06.2004


How low can you go...safely?

Thanks to a landmark study involving the UW Health Sports Medicine Center, physicians and coaches can evaluate the effectiveness of methods widely used to measure body composition and predict the minimum weight an athlete should maintain.

Using a four-component model that included independent assessment of bone, body fat, muscle and total body water, 53 Division-I collegiate athletes were measured, yielding a precise reading that allowed for the accurate prediction of a minimum weight. The study was conducted in response to a call by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHA) mandating that all states develop a minimum-weight certification program modeled after the one established by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) in 1993. The findings appear in a recent edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.



More than just a topic for exercise scientists, the issue of minimum weight prediction closely affects high school and college athletes, particularly wrestlers. In recent years, several athletes have died--including three wrestlers in a span of 33 days in 2003--after using unsafe weight loss practices in order to compete in a lower weight class. But Randy Clark, the manager of UW Health Sports Medicine’s Exercise Science Laboratory and the study’s first author, says the findings also have important implications for the national fight against pediatric obesity.

"Body composition has never been a more important issue than it is today," says Clark. "It’s always been an important component when evaluating athletes, but it’s equally important for this generation of children. This is the first generation in history that will have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents. Reduced activity, excess body fat and excess body weight are important factors bringing about this sad fact."

For years, physicians have used the body-mass index (BMI) to roughly gauge body composition, assigning individuals a number based on a ratio between height and weight. Clark hopes that an actual measure of body composition will soon become an important component of everyone’s physical exam, not just athletes.

UW Health Sports Medicine is also involved in a new research study called Fit-4-Life. The program has shown positive changes in body composition, fitness level, and insulin sensitivity using a lifestyle-focused physical education curriculum for students at River Bluff Middle School in Stoughton.

"We are applying ideas and concepts previously reserved for elite athletes to children, particularly a new generation of kids who are struggling with weight issues," says Clark. "They love it. They feel like heroes, and it’s the first time they have enjoyed a physical education class. Parents thank us for changing the dynamics of their family and making physical activity fun again. This is every bit as rewarding as our work with major college athletics."

UW Health Sports Medicine was instrumental in developing both the Fit-4-Life program and the minimum weight standards used by the NCAA, WIAA and NFSA. Under the new guidelines, the more than 10,000 male high-school wrestlers in Wisconsin (and 100,000 nationally) must maintain at least 7 percent body fat, while college-level wrestlers must maintain at least 5 percent.

"Eventually these minimum weight standards may be adopted by other sports where leanness is a concern, like track and field, cross-country, lightweight rowing, gymnastics and ice skating," says Clark. "Too little body fat and too much body fat are both serious medical concerns."

Aaron R. Conklin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wisc.edu
http://www.uwhealth.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

New China and US studies back use of pulse oximeters for assessing blood pressure

21.11.2018 | Medical Engineering

Exoplanet stepping stones

21.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>