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No effect of weight cycling on the post-career BMI of weight class elite athletes.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Repetitions of pre-competition weight-loss diets done by athletes participating in weight class sports can be regarded as periods of weight cycling. The aim of the present study is to identify the long term post-career (22 years) evolutionary profile of athletes' BMI after such weight cycling. METHODS: One hundred and thirty-six retired French athletes who participated in major international competitions in weight class sports (rowers, wrestlers, boxers, and judokas) were included. Former and current body mass, height, dietary characteristics during the career (annual frequency, amount of weight lost), current physical activity, and answers on the eating-attitude test were collected by phone interview (consistency was tested by comparison with measured weight). We performed ANOVA tests for comparison between groups (sport, dieting), post-hoc tests (Bonferroni test) to identify differences within groups. BMI's changes were treated using a mixed model. RESULTS: The recorded weight changes did not depend upon time since retirement. Between 18 y and 50 y, athletes' BMI increased by 3.2 kg/m2 compared to the 4.2 kg/m2 increase in the general population. This increase was independent of the number of diets during the career. Retired athletes declared a mean weekly physical activity of 4.8 h +/- 4.3. The eating-attitude test showed low scores for all sports without any correlation to diet characteristics. CONCLUSION: Weight cycling during an athletic career does not induce a massive weight gain after retirement, probably due to the high level of physical activity still practiced after retirement by these athletes.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 31, 2013 - 9:06:15 AM
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Laurie-Anne Marquet, Morgan Brown, Muriel Tafflet, Hala Nassif, Rémy Mouraby, et al.. No effect of weight cycling on the post-career BMI of weight class elite athletes.. BMC Public Health, BioMed Central, 2013, 13 (1), pp.510. ⟨10.1186/1471-2458-13-510⟩. ⟨inserm-00828426⟩



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