The Hong Kong Journal of Sports Medicine and Sports

Volume X, May, 2000

Maturational Status, Pattern of Subcutaneous Fat and Total Fat in Adolescent Female Athletes and Non-athletes in China

Iowa State University

Beijing University of Physical Education

Two hundred and forty female athletes and non-athletes aged 7 to 21 years participated in this study. Maturational status was evaluated in two ways, the Tanner Scale was self-administered to assess stage of maturation and menstrual status was reported. Subjects were assessed for body fat (using skinfolds), waist and hip circumference and athletic status. The athletes were recruited from national sport development programs. Athletes and non-athletes differed on percent body fat and location of fat. Maturational status was related to percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratios, and location of fat. Maturational and athletic status interacted on percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratio and location of fat. Cross-cultural differences were noted when comparing this data to similar subjects living in the U.S., as U.S. subjects tended to be more mature, have more fat on the extremities relative to the torso, and athletes tended to be less fat than non-athletes.

Key words : At the time of this study, Katherine Thomas Thomas was on the faculty at Arizona State University.

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