Differences in anthropometrics, body composition, and food intake between chronically active and sedentary postmenopausal women
Wareham, Marilyn L.
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether long-term exercise increased energy intake in postmenopausal women, and thus increased the likelihood that certain nutrient needs would be met. The target nutrients were folate, B6, B12, vitamins A and D, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Thirty-one active and 9 sedentary women over age 50 were recruited; the active women were divided into two groups based on the age that regular exercise was begun. Height, weight, waist and hip circumferences, and lean body mass were measured. Food intake was calculated from 3-day food records, and aerobic capacity was estimated from a validated questionnaire. Weight (68.50 + 6.02 kg, vs 59.33 + 8.99 kg and 58.13 + 6.79 kg), waist circumference (83.8 + 5.5 cm vs 74.3 + 6.9 cm and 75.1 + 7.9 cm), and hip circumference (104.7 + 4.5 cm vs 96.2 + 7.4 cm and 95.8 + 8.0 cm) were significantly greater in the sedentary women versus the two groups of active women respectively (p < .05). Estimated aerobic capacity (15.9 + 3.1 ml/kg/min vs 28.9 + 5.2 ml/kg/min and 26.0 + 5.6 ml/kg/min) and percent lean body mass were significantly lower in the sedentary women compared to the active women respectively (p <.001). No differences were found in total calories consumed, calories/kg, or in any of the target nutrients. All three groups consumed less than the RDA's for energy, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc. Less than 2/3 of the RDA for these same three nutrients were consumed by "22% to "61% of the women. Only six women, all active, consumed more than 1200 mg calcium per day. It was concluded that long-term regular exercise over many years did not increase total energy intake or decrease risk of deficiencies of target nutrients in the women studied.