Ballet dancers (BDs) have a negative energy balance related to physical training that results in alterations in body composition, sexual development, and adipokine secretion. Our aims were to study anthropometric parameters, body composition, and their relationship with adipokines throughout pubertal development.
Subjects and methods
We carried out a prospective follow-up study of 22 female Caucasian BDs (Tanner II stage) followed throughout puberty. Nutritional status was determined by measurement of height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). We calculated growth velocity, bone maturity, and body composition at Tanner stages II, III, and V by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Circulating leptin, adiponectin, and soluble leptin receptor (sObR) levels were determined.
BDs presented a delay in skeletal maturation during puberty, without affectation of final height. Energy intake was deficient according to their physical exercise, and they had a delay of 1 year in the mean age of menarche. Leptin levels were decreased, whereas sObR and adiponectin levels were increased throughout puberty. The percentage of trunk fat, total fat mass, and fat of the extremities was decreased throughout the study period (P<0.01). Lean mass was increased in the lower extremities, and bone mineral density was normal.
A negative energy balance together with maintained physical exercise induced modifications in body composition in BDs. Changes in leptin and adiponectin levels appear to be more related to total fat content than to BMI. Furthermore, the onset and delayed progress of puberty may be related with an inadequate energy balance due to increased exercise.