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Associations among Body Image, Dietary Behavior, and Body Composition in Female Athletes
The study investigated the associations among body image, exercise training, dietary behavior, and body composition in female athletes. Based on the level of exercise training, university female students (aged 18~22 years) were divided into two groups: an exercise group (n=40) and a sedentary group (n=41). We examined the results of the Eating Attitudes Test, dietary behavior, exercise habits, and body composition. The desire to be slender by dieting, and body dissatisfaction were significantly stronger for exercise subjects than sedentary subjects (p<0.05). The energy intakes from snacks and drinks were significantly higher in exercise subjects than sedentary subjects (p<0.05), whereas the amounts of grains (Ex/day) and vegetables (Ex/day) consumed, and the energy intake from meals were significantly lower (p<0.05). There was no difference in the frequency of breakfast or late snack consumption between the two groups, but the frequency of lunch and supper consumption by the sedentary group was significantly higher than that by the exercise group (p<0.005). The fat-free mass of the exercise subjects was significantly higher than that of sedentary subjects (p<0.01). The body image of the female subjects affected their eating attitudes, but did not affect their dietary intake. The body composition of these students was primarily influenced by participation in long-term exercise training.
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