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1998 Publications

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN METABOLIC RATE AMONG BALLET DANCERSby M.J. Liederbach, B.W. Glace, G.W.Gleim, FACSMNISMAT, Lenox Hill Hospital and Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY - last modified 2013-02-09 23:30
Med Sci Sport Exer 30(5), s263, 1998


In previous studies we have documented gender differences in elite ballet dancers. In this study we measured resting metabolic rate [RMR] and thermic effect of food [TEF] relative to lean body mass [LBM] as determined by bioelectrical impedance [RJL Systems] and skin fold measures [Jackson and Pollock]. We also collected diet records to determine if gender differences in caloric intake exist in elite ballet dancers. RMR and TEF following a 500 Kcal meal [Ensure, Abbott Labs] was measured in 9 men and 15 women and 5-day diet records were analyzed for 5 men and 11 women dancers. Self-reported caloric intakes of men was greater than that of women [2350 +/- 242 vs 1586 +/- 196 Kcal/day, p=0.038], but not when adjusted for LBM [37 +/- 4 vs 29 +/- 4 Kcal/Kg LBM, p=0.17]. RMR was greater in the men, but when adjusted for LBM men expended less energy at rest.

The TEF was similar between genders and there was no interaction between gender and time. Male ballet dancers exhibited lower RMR per Kg LBM than women dancers despite their greater energy intake. Therefore men must expend greater energy during activity on a per lean basis than women dancers.