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 Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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 evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>