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A Comparison Of Bioelectrical Impedance And Skinfold Measurements In Determining Minimal Wrestling Weight In Hawai'i's High School Wrestlers

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Title: A Comparison Of Bioelectrical Impedance And Skinfold Measurements In Determining Minimal Wrestling Weight In Hawai'i's High School Wrestlers
Authors: Haines, Karin A.
Issue Date: Dec 2004
Abstract: In 1989 Wisconsin was the first state to institute a minimal wrestling weight program for high schools. The intent of the program was to prevent the dangerous weight cutting behaviors of wrestlers (Oppliger 1995). The importance of preventing inappropriate weight cutting practices was re-enforced with the deaths of three collegiate wrestlers during the 1997-98 collegiate wrestling season (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report {MMWR} 1998). Following the deaths of these wrestlers, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) mandated that every state institute a minimal wrestling weight program in place by 2005 (NFHS 2003-04). Additionally, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) advocated the importance of a minimal wresting weight program (ACSM 1996). To comply with the NFHS mandate, the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) instituted a minimal wrestling weight program in 1999 and recruited the Hawaii Athletic Trainers Association (HATA) to implement the program. The resulting program was required to accommodate body composition measurements for 500 plus wrestlers in a short time frame; assuring equitable, accurate and reliable measurements, at a reasonable cost and use of man power (Hawaii Wrestling Weight Monitoring Program [HWWMP], 2004). Currently the NFHS mandates that body fat must be measured in a hydrated state; however, it does not specify which method must be used to determine the percentage of body fat (NFHS 2003-04). The HHSAA determined, through the examination of prior minimal wrestling weight programs (Wisconsin [Oppliger 1995], Iowa [Oppliger 1988], and other mid-western states [Thorland 1991]), that skinfold measurements and urine specific gravity measured via refractometry were the appropriate methods to evaluate the wrestlers body composition in order to determine minimal wrestling weights (MWW) (HWWMP 2004). Minimal body fat percentages (%BF) were set at 7% for males and 14% for females based on the NFHS criteria (NFHS 2003-04, HWWMP 2004). In an effort to ensure accurate and equitable results, all of the wrestlers on the island of Oahu are tested on the same day by a team of experienced and National Athletic Training Association-Board of Certification certified athletic trainers (ATCs) who annually attend a workshop on skinfold analysis. Coaches that are required to travel with their teams to have this assessment done have requested that they be able to substitute bioelectrical impedance (BIA) measurements for skinfold (SF) measurements. Substitution of BIA for SF to determine MWW, has some possible advantages: BIA requires minimal training and subject preparation, the technique is less embarrassing and intrusive than SF for this age group, and BIA instruments (Tanita leg-to-leg analyzers) are readily available. Prior studies have demonstrated the BIA is a reliable and valid method of determining MWW using BIA as a measuring tool (Oppliger 1991, Oppliger 1991S). Other researchers have concluded that there were disagreements between BIA and other methods of body composition measurements (Diboll 2003, Eckerson 1992, Clark 1993). Recently Clark et al. (2004) investigated minimum weight prediction methods (hydrostatic weighing [HW], SF, BIA, and dual energy x-ray absorption [DEXA]) which they cross-validated using a four-compartment model. The best precision was found using the SF and HW methods, and the error was significantly greater using BIA than SF. They concluded that the use of the Lohman (1981) SF equation and HW were the most accurate methods to determine MWWs. Use of the Tanita leg-to-leg analyzer (which has a proprietary prediction equation) was not supported by the data. However, a number of other equations to determine body composition using BIA exist. The RJL Quantum II analyzer provides the impedance measurements required to use these equations. If the use of these BIA equations resulted in MMWs that are in good agreement with MWWs established using SF equations, then it is plausible that BIA could be substituted for the SF method at remote sites. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the MWW from SF measurements with those derived from a variety of BIA equations, to determine if the two methods could be used interchangeably for Hawaii's high school wrestlers. It was hypothesized that BIA equations would result in MWWs that are not significantly different than those obtained by SF analysis.
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Appears in Collections:M.S. - Kinesiology and Leisure Science

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