Body Image and Energy Availability in Female Runners
Creators:Anderson, Chelsea L.
Advisor:Buell, Jackie L.
Rudd, Nancy A.
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Nutrition Honors Theses; 2011
The multidimensional concept of body image, as experienced by an individual, has immense impact on quality of life, and has recently been linked to various dieting and exercising pathology (Grogan, 2008). The objective of the current study was to evaluate the relationship between body image and "Energy Availability" defined as: net energy [calories consumed minus calories expended in exercise] normalized for lean body mass, among a specific sample of 118 adult female recreational runners. The Appearance Orientation and Appearance Evaluation subscales of the MBSRQ (Cash & Pruzinsky, 2002) as well as a silhouette figural drawing scale were used to assess body image attitudes of participants through an online survey. These measures were separately compared with an individual's Energy Availability, determined through the use of self-reported 3-day food records and activity logs. Additional anthropometric measures including height, weight, age, and body fat percentage were obtained through a laboratory visit during which the patient received an iDXA scan. Energy Availability was observed to have an insignificant negative correlation with both Appearance Orientation scoring and Appearance Evaluation scoring, as well as an insignificant positive correlation with silhouette scoring. The results indicate that individuals who were highly invested in and highly satisfied with their appearance, and who desired a smaller physique displayed the most restrictive (low) Energy Availabilities. A significant portion of the subjects (46%) fell below the Energy Availability threshold of 30 kcal/kg LBM day, recommended to maintain proper reproductive, bone, and physiological functioning (Loucks, 2003). It is therefore necessary to inform avid exercisers and athletes of their increased energy/caloric intake requirements that result from their physical activity.