The impact of dietary acculturation and food availability in the body composition of Division I female international student-athletes.
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Cherpe de Souza, Leticia, 1996-
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Body composition plays an important role in sports in optimizing performance in athletes. Although there is a gap in research concerning international student-athletes, international students with high levels of acculturation to the American diet were found to gain weight, increase the intake of energy-dense and highly processed foods, and decrease the consumption of fruits and vegetables in their first months in the US. In this study, previously collected body composition data was accessed, and international female student-athletes answered surveys that screened for dietary acculturation and food availability levels. Our findings indicate that fat mass (FM) increased in 83.3% of the subjects in the first six months of college, with an average of 3.01 lbs. (p≤ 0.05). In contrast to previous studies on non-athlete international students, higher dietary acculturation increased fat-free mass (FFM) (p≤ 0.05) in our sample. Although not statistically significant, high food availability increased both FM and FFM.