No changes in energy intake, resting and physical activity energy expenditure, or food reinforcement across the menstrual cycle

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica McNeil, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Background: Energy intake (EI) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) have been previously evaluated across the menstrual cycle with food and physical activity journals. To our knowledge, the direct assessments of EI, macronutrient intake, resting energy expenditureEE (REE) and PAEE have not been studied across the menstrual cycle within the same study design. Furthermore, no study has related these factors to possible variations in the severity of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and food reinforcement across the cycle. Methods: Seventeen women (Body mass index: 22.3±1.6 kg/m²; Body fat-DXA: 28.5±6.8%) participated in three identical sessions during distinct phases of the menstrual cycle: Early follicular, Late follicular/ovulation and Mid-luteal (confirmed by basal temperature and plasma gonadotropins, estradiol and progesterone levels). EI was measured inside the laboratory and under free-living conditions with food menus and food journals, respectively. REE and PAEE were measured with indirect calorimetry and accelerometers, respectively. Also measured were body fat mass (DXA), the severity of PMS, leptin and the relative- reinforcing value (RRV) of preferred foods. Results: No differences in body fat mass, REE, PAEE and leptin were noted across the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, no changes in measured and reported energy, carbohydrate, lipid and protein intakes, as well as the RRV of preferred foods were noted across the cycle. Differences in the severity of PMS (25±10, 19±11, 25±10 points; p<0.05) across phases were noted. However, the severity of PMS and food reinforcement did not coincide with energy and macronutrient intakes. Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that the menstrual cycle may not be of practical concern when assessing food intake and physical activity patterns under the methodological conditions presented in this study.

Additional Information

Gosselin M (Ed), Menstrual cycle: signs and symptoms, psychological/behavioral changes abnormalities, Chapter 5. Nova Science Publishers, New York, USA, 2013; 121-138.
Language: English
Date: 2013
menstrual cycle, energy intake, resting energy expenditure, physical activity energy expenditure, food reinforcement, premenstrual syndrome

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