Interrelationship Between Dietary Intake, Bone Mineral Density and Incidence of the Development of Musculoskeletal Disorders in College Students
For most college going students, participation in sport and exercise provides many health benefits. Unfortunately some individuals do not ingest sufficient energy to meet the demands of physical exertion and all physiological functions due to irregular eating habits. This leads to a state of low energy availability (LEA) which can negatively affect bone health, cardiovascular function, and reproduction, gastrointestinal and mental health. The three most researched health consequences of LEA are the clinical end points eating disorders and disordered eating, musculoskeletal disorders, and stress fractures (due to loss of bone health) which occur on a spectrum from health to disease. [Purpose] Identifying female students along the spectrum can result in early detection which in turn can prevent these conditions from progressing and reaching the clinical end points. [Subjects and Methods] 100 participants (18–25 years of age) were recruited according to the selection criteria and ethical clearance. Outcome measures were Eating Attitudes Test- 26 (EAT-26), questionnaire regarding the participant’s exercise patterns, bone mineral density and Nordic questionnaire for musculoskeletal disorders. [Results] Pearson correlation test was applied on the variables to get positive linear correlation between physical activity and bone mineral density and negative correlation between scores from EAT-26 and bone mineral density. Results from Nordic questionnaire showed that 63% of the subjects had experienced musculoskeletal disorders, most of which was regarding low back. In the present study 58% of females reported having an injury in the past year. [Conclusion] Disordered eating certainly affects the overall well-being of a female by affecting the bone health. Dietary counselling and physical activity can help improve the health status in the college going females. Controlling their attitude towards health through proper awareness can also improve their quality of life.
KeywordsDisordered eating Musculoskeletal disorders Bone mineral density
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