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2015 Abstracts

Women’s Body Composition in the Outdoors

Amber Christensen, Weber State University


Session Title Women and nutrition in the back country: How their calorie intake and calorie expenditure affect their body composition while backpacking Summary Abstract This study examines the factors that influence change in women’s body composition while backpacking through a mountainous terrain. To see the changes and why they happened, pre- and post- data was collected to measure body composition while participants filled out food logs to generate calorie intake and calorie expenditure. Full Abstract Women are becoming more frequent in the back country as the benefits of nature are becoming more known. Since men have dominated the outdoor world, there is more research conducted on men in the outdoors than there are on women. Nutrition research in the back country is also a new research subject that is gaining interest. Adding women, nutrition, and the back country for research is a topic that not many have touched on. Why is this all relevant and what could it mean? From looking into women and their nutrition in the back country, we can get an inside look at what changes their bodies are making and what factors are causing these changes. During this study women over the age of 18 enrolled in a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course of their choice went into the back country of Wyoming for thirty days. Before they left for the back country, pre-tests were recorded of their body composition using Weber State University’s Bod Pod which recorded lean muscle masses and body fat masses. During their expedition they were asked to keep a food log. Their leaders recorded their distance traveled during each day which was then calculated into energy expenditure. Upon returning, post-tests were recorded using the Bod Pod to compare results between before and after. Measurements and data have been collected on these women as well as their food logs. A conclusion will be made from analyzing the data from both Bod Pod measurements and the food and nutritional intake vs energy expenditure. Currently the process of entering this data is underway and will be completed within the coming months. Once this data is entered and analyzed with the results from the Bod Pod, conclusions can be made to determine if these women received adequate calorie intake to at least match calorie expenditure and what affects their nutrition intake had on changes to their body composition. Measurable Outcomes 1. Changes in body composition; lean muscle mass vs fat mass. 2. If calorie intake was sufficient to support calorie expenditure. 3. Nutritional value of the foods consumed and how they affected performance.