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Thread: Mention of Qing Pang Suffering Weakness

  1. #31
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    Sorry if this is off topic.
    I don't think the reason Pang/Tong has not been doing so well this season as the last season is because of her weakness.
    It's mainly because of Tong's inconsistency in his jumps.
    He has been struggling so much with his jumps since the beginning of this season, while Pang had looked much stronger in her jumps.
    It seems like he never can land his jumps cleanly, and that costs them huge amount.
    I wonder what happened to him. Is he seriously injured?
    About her weakness at 4cc, I hear that she was suffering from injuries and boots problem. Someone who attended 4cc said that she looked feeling uncomfortable and irritated in her shoes, and even afraid to skate.
    Last edited by Hanaka; 03-03-2005 at 04:53 AM.

  2. #32
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    I totally agree with Hanaka. I read it somewhere too. I remember Tong said he and Pang were suffering from some injuries and Pang also had boots problem.

    I agree that Pang is very thin. I also try to get the message through several times that Pang needs to gain some weight to look prettier. She is strong, believe it or not. It has been Tong who failed quite a few times to deliver the sbs jumps. off topic. Back to Pang. She is naturally small boned and thin, that was why Tong chose her to be his parterner back in 1993, "slim and tall" in Tong's words.

    I'd like to clarify a few impression about Chinese Federation and the pair coach Yao Bin. Yes, as every figure skating coach would do, Yao does request the girls to watch their weight, but not like that they couldn't gain any weight. There is no specific weight limit for all the girls. Xue Shen usaually weighs about 95lbs (86jin), but one year she was 101lbs (92jin). She was not threw out of the door , right? If Yao was not that sensitive to Shen's weight, then I couldn't see why he would be for Pang.
    Firstly, Pang and Zhang in the Zhang/Zhang are naturally smaller boned and slimmer than Shen is. Although they all come from the North of China, even the girls from the South admired their build when they were training in a southen city.
    Secondly, Pang/Tong had not been on top of Yao's list of priority. So there was no reason why their coach paid special attention to the weight of a already very thin girl. P/T had been training by themselves without a coach for many years before they went to Beijing to join Shen/Zhao and shared Yao with Shen/Zhao. And Yao had another very promising pair Zhang/Zhang at about the same time that he expected to carry the flag after Shen/Zhao retired. Pang/Tong was very upset during a certain period of time because the younger "siblings" (Yao lives together with the three pairs and he consider them as his other 6 children beside his own son) Z/Z surpassed them in competitions. They were about to quit at a time. I guess if Pang did pay more attention to her weight, it might be because of her own wish to do better than their younger "siblings", rather than the pressure from the coach or the federation.
    Thirdly, Yao is a very caring person. Although they have a dining place in the centre, Yao told a journalist that he konws the "six kids" very well and know who like to eat what, and often go around to get the right thing for them to eat. He also cooks for them (I guess this would more likely when they were traveling). He is not a crude cold-blood guy who starves his athletes.

    Now I would like to make my point that Pang is just thin, no a victim of some kind of disorder by using a few facts that I read in this thread.

    Pang has been competing in international level since 1997, and has been in the top 5 in GP series and top 10 in the world for many years. As many people recalled that Pang has been thin ever since they can remember, and according to the theory given by the Rgirl and Doggygirl (if I remember right), after four years of eating disorder, the victim would has bone structure like a 60-year old. In that case, we would not have the opportunity to see the spectacular throw jump that is over the board, and cover like 22 -25? feet of ice, and the high twist hanging in the air. I'm trying to learn some moves myself and although I'm far from 60 years old, I would be really happy if I can manage a single well. Well if we think about how long P/T has competed and she's been that thin ever since the beginning, and If she did have the problem of eating as suspected by some people, her bone could be as a 120-year old lady .

    I agree with another post that if the federation can force the athlets to starve themselves to keep a certain weight for the purpose of obtaining a better result, then as some people said Pang is suffering from weakness, a result of diet, the federation would have equal power to order her eat more to get the strength she needed for a better results. So I doubt if the federation has anything to do with her thiness.

    I'm not trying to defend P, nor the federation, nor the coach, just what I think based on what I read. As I can read Chinese and I've been in China for a long time, I guess it might be helpful to bring the info here so that people would not worry too much about her weight.

    Please keep this in mind, China is a developing country, and not everything we have over here is developed over there yet, such as eating disorder. If you go talk with chinese people on the street, most likely they wouldn't know what you are talking about. It was not too long ago people would feel lucky to have enough to eat. I read in the same book (second mark) that althletes felt lucky because they could have better food in the sport school.
    Last edited by hongligl; 03-03-2005 at 05:46 PM.

  3. #33
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    Thanks for the perspective, hongligl . Most of your post was news to me.

  4. #34
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    [QUOTE=nicole_l]Thanks for the perspective, hongligl . Most of your post was news to me.[/QUOTE

    My pleasure. I have lots of respect for Bin Yao after I read what he did for figure skating. As a coach of three pairs with a tight buget, for a long time he was the one to design and even sew all the costums for his skaters. He even cut hair for Dan Zhang and some of the others. He's now suffering back bone problems and he is supposed to have operations on four pieces of his back bone, but he only got one done because he could not find the time off. He had been away from his wife and son (left in Harbin while he moved to Beijing) and even now he sees his son like once a week. His only son is preparing for University entrance exams, the single biggest thing for normal chinese parents. I was touched.

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    In spite of all the talk about the Chinese Federation "starving" athletes, I still believe that Bin Yao will be in the World Hall of Fame for his contribution to skating. He has inspired his athletes and created a new pairs dynasty.

    Hongli,
    I have seen posts that stated the Chinese were against pairs skating at first because the pairs had too much physical contact. Is that true?

  6. #36
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    Bin Yao's definitely a personal hero of mine.
    Agreed that he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

  7. #37
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    Thanks for the great post hongligl. I think it is important to know that Bin Yao really takes care of his skaters. In the book, it is also mention that before Shen/Zhao started on the quad, Yao asked them if they wanted to do it, as it was very difficult and dangerous. They of course wanted to do it, to increase their chances for the gold at SLC. The book also notes that even before the FS, he asked them again if they wanted to do it. To me that shows that he thinks first of his skaters' well-being.

  8. #38
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    hongligl, great post.

    I've been trying to make the same points as you for years since Pang's weight being hyped all over the net. I couldn't put it more clearly as you do.

    I am truely touched by BinYao's story. But sometimes I doubt ppl grown up in NA would understand why he has to leave his family to live with his students. Why he can only see his son once a week. etc. Sometimes you just have to live in that enviroment to understand why certain things are as they are.
    Last edited by mzheng; 03-03-2005 at 10:59 PM.

  9. #39
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    A lot of interesting and informative comments on a serious subject--not just Qing Pang, but the subject of female figure skaters being so thin as to be unhealthy whether or not they have an eating disorder.

    Before I continue, my apologies to Doggygirl for confusing her post with someone else's; my thanks to Mathman for correcting me so quickly (before I looked completely ridiculous); and my thanks especially to Doggygirl for willing to be so open about having suffered from an eating disorder and willing to share her experiences, which at least in the US is still a very, very difficult thing to do. Not only do people who had an ED often continue to feel a sense of shame, but a lot of other people continue to view them as mentally ill or unbalanced if those who had/have an ED speak about it. Coming from my background (dance), I found both your post on the Cohen Book thread and the one on this thread very courageous. The information about anorexia, which is correct, I knew from education and experience. But no one can convey the tragedy and emotion like someone who's been there. I hope more people who suffer from EDs (and it's not just females; boys and men have become increasingly affected over the past 25 years) can build the self-esteem to be able to talk about their ED experiences as you are doing. Thirty to forty years ago people were ashamed to talk about cancer.

    I would also like to thank the Chinese posters for adding their firsthand knowledge and experience to this thread. Whether we agree on everything is not that important to me. We so typically get the North American view on most English-speaking forums that I appreciate hearing the Asian view. After all, there are a whole lot more of you guys than there are of us! Seriously, I've learned a lot from your posts. However, I hope you will try to learn something from our posts too. As Mzheng said, "Sometimes you just have to live in an environment to understand." Very true. Which is why I think we have a basic split of opinions. Some posters have lived in environments rife with young women who diet to dangerous extremes or have an eating disorder (the two are not the same). Same have both lived in those environments and also studied them. I'm not saying one "side" is right and the other wrong. All the information should hopefully add to a better understanding of these issues for everyone. Or else just make us extra cranky.

    Sorry to put the following in bold typeface, but I feel I need to: I tried to be as clear as possible in my opening post that in no way was I saying that I thought Qing Pang has now or has ever had an eating disorder, as have most posters on this thread. So PLEASE try not to make this thread about speculation over whether or not Pang has an ED. None of us knows whether she does or not, so none of us can say. Thanks.

    What prompted me to start this thread was a very brief discussion by the commentators during the ESPN2 4CC broadcast that Pang had been "having problems with weakness." I agree with you, Joe; I don't know what they meant by weakness either. First of all, it was a very short bit of coverage and nobody specified what they meant by "weakness." The reporting definitely should have been better. IMO, if they're going to report on a skater who at least some people see as being so thin as to be unhealthy, they should allow ample time to give clear information that is backed up by comments by sports medicine physicians and nutritionists. So a :thumbsdown: for ESPN2 on that account, at least from me. Don't know what Roger Ebert gave them.

    But the main thing I wanted to say is that I think it's pretty clear we have two distinct perceptions of what's "healthy athletic thin" and "dangerously unhealthy thin," specifically in the case of Qing Pang, but also for skaters in general, mostly females but males are subject to pressures about their weight too. Recalling other "skaters' weight" threads from the past, most posters (not all of course) tend to see a thin skater as one or the other. In the case of Qing Pang, I think some of the reasons for this difference are clearly cultural and geographic, i.e. having lived in China. Posters who live or have lived in China have the benefit of being able to see the norms for China in person, as well as those for the US at least via TV if not also in person. Very few US citizens get to see the norms in China in person. Even if we did all come from the same country and cultural background, I expect we would still see people differently in terms of healthy and unhealthy body weight, both too little and too much. As Doggygirl said, when she was suffering from anorexia, she looked in the mirror and saw herself as fat, while her mother cried over how desperately thin she was. If mother and daughter can have such different perceptions of body weight, imagine the differences we all face. (Yes, I know it's the will of the universe for mothers and daughters to disagree on things. Still, I don't want to joke about a subject that kills or permanently damages many women and some men.)

    Another problem in discussing the subject of how thin is too thin is that it's difficult to find the right nomenclature in explaining the scientific aspects. If you try to use vocabulary pretty much everyone will understand, you sacrifice accuracy. If you use technical language, those who don't have a college background in endocrinology, physiology, or at least biology, not to mention nutrition and weight management, may not understand your explanation. But with technical language you gain accuracy and clarity for those who do have that kind of scientific background. I'm not saying one way is better than the other; each way has its pros and cons. Speaking only for myself, I find it difficult to find a happy medium between everyday and technical language without writing an entire book. Okay, so this is at least a chapter. Anyway, I think it's easy for misconceptions to get started just because of the language and science involved.

    However, since a couple of questions were addressed to what I wrote, I'll try to clarify those issues--and not just for the person who asked, but in general, since what I wrote may not be clear to others as well:
    Q. "Not sure what was meant by 'weight loss is in some specific places in her body that only occur when the body is burning muscle for fuel'..."
    A. In starvation, very low calorie dieting (generally less than 500 kcal/day), very low carbohydrate dieting (generally less than about 60 grams of carbohydrate/day), or excessive exercise compared to caloric intake, muscle is indeed burned for fuel or, in technical terms, catabolized. See HERE under "Starvation muscle loss" in the examples if PubMed Abstracts listed below.) Of course, so is fat. During the above conditions, when the body is taking in much less energy (calories--technically the correct term is kilocalorie, hence "kcal," but people usually just use calorie) than it is expending in both the automatic actions of staying alive (heart beat, breathing, organ function, etc.) and exercise, the body's number one purpose is to stay alive. Thus every single function, even every cell in the body, adapts itself toward survival.

    As I said, in Post #1, it's not like the body first loses all its fat and then starts losing muscle. If the body lost all its fat it could not survive, for the reasons I gave in Post #1 and many more. The body more or less calibrates how much fat loss it can take before it starts risking its health, then shifts toward skeletal muscle and vice versa. I say skeletal muscle because the body must protect the smooth muscle of the organs since they are necessary for life. Equally, the body must protect the brain, which is neurologic tissue. (Human brain lways looked and felt like tofu to me; maybe that's why I'm not a big fan of it--tofu, that is. Am a big fan of brains, though by some of my posts you'd probably wonder. Sorry, thought a little levity at this point was okay.)

    When the body starts catabolizing, i.e., burning skeletal muscle for fuel, it first burns the skeletal muscle used least. This is why, especially in the '80s, when sports science was in its infancy, you would see long distance runners (5,000 meters or more) with very well-developed hip, thigh, and lower leg muscles but bony chests and thin, almost atrophied arms. Today long distance runners still generally have more muscle mass in the hips and legs, but now they know to work their upper body with free weights and weight machines. The reason isn't just so they will have more upper body muscle mass for looks, but so their upper bodies have more strength to help them run.

    In fact, an example from figure skating of this is Michelle Kwan--this is very definitely a compliment coming, so nobody get excited. If you look at Michelle during the '01/02 season, she got thinner all over, but more so in her arms and upper body than in her hips, thighs, and legs. After she started working with an off-ice trainer during the '02/03 season, who clearly had her lifting weights to strengthen her upper body, her lower body seemed to maintain about the same muscle mass as before, but her upper body and arms became noticeably more muscular. Her jumps got stronger, especially this year, and not only myself, but a lot of people on the forum also thought she looked better. I remember somebody writing a post about it and coming up with the great phrase, "Michelle wears muscle well." She sure does! But that's a figure skating example of both muscle catabolism (loss of upper body and arm muscle from dieting) as well as muscle anabolism (increase in upper body and arm muscle from weight training). Way to go, MK!

    Specifically regarding the sentence "weight loss is in some specific places in her body that only occur when the body is burning muscle for fuel," that was a reference to Doggygirl's Post #9 on the Sasha's Book thread, where DG noted the space between Qing Pang's upper inner thighs as being indicative of muscle catabolism. For people or have had anorexia or have worked a lot with anorexic people, there are certain changes that occur in the body that are "red flags." Seeing these red flags does not mean the person has anorexia. But at least for myself, I can't help but become concerned for the person's well-being. One is the space between the inner upper things. Others include, but are not limited to:
    --Being able to see the ribs through the back.
    --An extremely prominent jawbone.
    --Very small gluteal muscles, especially in an athlete.
    --Extremely thin arms.
    --Prominent joints such as the wrist, elbow, and knees.
    --Very prominent pelvic bones.
    --A covering of fine white hair on the skin, known as "lanugo." (Note: Some people have this naturallly. In anorexics, it doesn't appear until a dangerous amount of weight has been lost for several months to a year. The hair also tends to be longer in anorexics, plus it goes away when/if the person can restore their natural homeostasis.


    Comment: "...[A]ccording to the theory given by the Rgirl and Doggygirl (if I remember right), after four years of eating disorder, the victim would has bone structure like a 60-year old. In that case, we would not have the opportunity to see the spectacular throw jump that is over the board, and cover like 22 -25? feet of ice, and the high twist hanging in the air."
    Response: As I've tried to make clear and I know Doggygirl has, neither of us ever said we thought Qing Pang had an eating disorder. Speaking only for myself (Doggygirl certainly doesn't need me to screw up what she has to say, lol). I do wonder if Pang's extreme thinness (it looks extreme to me and I've worked with ballet and modern dancers for over 30 years, and figure skaters for about 12) might be due to an eating disorder, if she is very driven and disciplined and trying to stay as thin as possible for her own or her coach's reasons, or if she indeed tends to be very thin anyway. Before I go on, I must say that I do remember Qing Pang back around 1997-98 (could be off by a year) and she looked to me to be about 15 to 25 lbs. heavier. I did an image search on Google and Yahoo for "Qing Pang 1998" but just got recent photos of her and Jian Tong.

    The reason I remember Pang being heavier is that I left New York to live in Arizona with my sister from fall of '99 until late summer '00. My sister and I are both big figure skating fans and we FINALLY were getting the chance to watch skating together (if we could get my sister's husband to quit teasing us while we watched, lol). Anyway, I remember so clearly my sister and I watching a pairs event (I forget which one) with Pang/Tong and my thinking, "Did this guy get a new partner? This can't be the same girl. She's so thin!" At almost the same moment, my sister said, "Boy! Did she ever lose a bunch of weight!" After that we discussed it, both of us wondering why and how she had lost so much weight. Of course I could still be remembering wrong, so if somebody could find one or more photos online of Qing Pang from '97 to the first half of the '99 season, it might settle a lot of questions. Or not.

    About the bone density, specifically bone mineral density (BMD), the ability to throw a female pairs skater a great distance in a throw jump or very high in a split triple twist has virtually nothing to do with her BMD. You may lose a few pounds, depending on height, if you go from having the BMD of a healthy 25-year-old to that of an ostepenic or osteoporotic 60-year-old woman. The entire human skeleton weighs an average of 20 lbs. There are about 2 to 4 lbs. of calcium in the body, with 99% of that calcium being in the skeleton and teeth. When bone is lost, it's mostly lost from trabecular bone (the kind in the spinal vertabrae and inner parts of structures such as the femoral head that looks kind of like a natural sponge) rather cortical bone (the thick dense kind). So significant bone loss does not add anything to an athlete's ability and during an athlete's 20s, if she doesn't become so thin she can't function (or he), bone loss probably won't impede them much. According to the research, there's about a 10% greater chance of getting a stress fracture if you have signifcant BMD loss (see HERE ]), but the researchers did not study extremely thin female pairs skaters. One of the problems with research is that while it uses (or should use) the objective scientific method to study trends in groups, the results can't be applied to a given individual because of individual differences. Can't win for losin' sometimes.

    What significant BMD loss during someone's 20s will do is put them at significant risk for osteoporosis, i.e., severe loss of bone density. They may become osteoporotic at age 20, at age 40, or not until age 60. But osteoporosis, no matter when it happens, is no joke. It can kill you, at least indirectly. Osteoporosis is the leading cause of hip fractures. What happens in most cases is not that the person falls and the hip fractures, but the other way around, i.e., the hip fractures while the person is walking, causing him/her to fall. Of those who fracture their hips--again, almost exclusively due to osteoporosis--12% to 20% will die from it. So one of the reasons some of us are so concerned about skaters who are as thin and thin in the same way as Qing Pang is because IF it is because of severe caloric restriction, one day Qing Pang could die from the results of the BMD she is losing today and for the last however many years. If death sounds too outrageous, there is the disability, pain, and suffering that comes with osteoporosis. Other reasons include infertility, endocrine dysfunction such as hypothyroidism, neurologic problems, gastrointestinal problems, and never regaining her muscle mass, to name just a few.


    Q. Someone asked if we were as concerned about Dan Zhang and Yang Ding.
    A. Good question. I think the reason other skaters don't come up as much in these threads about how thin is too thin and why is because we don't see them on TV as much as we do Qing Pang. I sometimes wonder what great skaters we never see because they indeed acquired an eating disorder too young. A former US ice dancer discussed on an episode of "CNN Today" the fact that the reason she left competitive ice dancing was because of having anorexia. I can't say her name because it's not listed in print and therefore not on the 'net, so it's not legal. Anyway, you can look at these photos of Dan Zhang and Yang Ding and decide foryourselves.

    For myself, I think the pressure to be dangerously thin is still too great on female figure skaters. Of course there are many skaters who are naturally thin and healthy. But ask yourself this question: Think of the way a very thin skater's body like Kristi Yamaguchi's looks. Although she is of Japanese descendents rather than Chinese like Qing Pang, at least they are both Asian. To my eyes, Kristi always looked a healthy natural thin. Qing Pang's thinness looks unhealthy and forced upon her, either by herself or other forces. BTW, I don't think anybody meant to criticize Yao Bin; however, since unsubstantiated quotes were included in posts, a few posters quoted what has been said about Yao Bin in interviews with some of his top skaters. IMO, a coach can do the seemingly impossible in terms of the sport, as Yao Bin has done with Chinese pairs skating and still not have all the current information to make his skaters champions and also keep them as healthy as possible. Which brings me to one last Rgirl point but not the end of the Rgirl post :thumbsdown: -- Being an elite athlete does not equal having good health. Elite athletes have to push their bodies to the limit in order to become elite. However, if coaches either ignore or remain uninformed about diet, weight, and eating disorders issues, they may unintentionally push the athletes they care about so much past the breaking point. I'm sure Yao Bin is a very caring man, but it's a different way of life in China and as Hongligl said, "Please keep this in mind, China is a developing country, and not everything we have over here is developed over there yet, such as eating disorder."

    Thank you for adding that, Hongligl. By the same token, I hope you and others will try to keep in mind that no matter what you believe and no matter how thin people in China are in general, you don't know anymore than any of the rest of us whether or not Qing Pang has dieted to the point of being dangerously thin or has an eating disorder or anything besides what you see, just like all of us. Thus I hope you will give a second thought to your statement, "Now I would like to make my point that Pang is just thin, not a victim of some kind of disorder by using a few facts that I read in this thread."

    Speaking of facts, I threw back a few at PubMed and also did a few searches. I can't reproduce the entirety of all the abstracts here because of copyright laws for some, but I can reproduce most and at least include the main point of the study and the conclusion for the others. Be ready for the technical terms to fly. I also only used one or two examples from each search, but I included the URL for the results of each entire search in case anyone wants to read all 110 abstracts under "starvation fat loss." BTW, my favorite line (actually lyric) about facts is the following by David Byrne: "Facts don't come with points of view. Facts don't do what I want them to."

    Ain't it the truth?


    Search Words: bone density figure skaters
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...arch&DB=pubmed
    Items [studies] 1 - 3 of 3

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=11782842

    1. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002 Jan;83(1):122-8.

    Bone density in competitive figure skaters.

    Oleson CV, Busconi BD, Baran DT.

    Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA. ChristinaVOleson@msn.com

    OBJECTIVES: To compare the bone mineral density (BMD) of competitive female teenage figure skaters with a history of fracture with the BMD of skaters without fracture and to compare each group to age-matched, nonathletic controls.
    PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-six adolescent female competitive skaters (10 with fracture, 26 without fracture) to 22 age-matched controls.
    RESULTS: Skaters who had suffered stress fractures had BMD values comparable with those of healthy nonathletic controls. However, skaters who had not suffered stress fractures had calcaneal BMD values 15% to 24% greater than either the controls or skaters with fractures. Among the skaters without fracture, there was a 14% to 19% higher calcaneal BMD in skaters who executed triple jumps relative to skaters who performed only double jumps. Furthermore, there was 7% to 11% greater BMD in the landing foot of the skaters relative to the takeoff foot. CONCLUSIONS: Stress fractures in adolescent skaters are not caused by low bone mass but may result from excessive forces placed on a normal skeleton. Our findings also support the hypothesis that higher peak forces are applied to the landing foot relative to the takeoff foot. Copyright 2002 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

    PMID: 11782842 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    Search words: bone density figure skaters
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...t_uids=8453328

    3. Bone Miner. 1993 Feb;20(2):125-32.

    High intensity activities in young women: site specific bone mass effects among female figure skaters.

    Slemenda CW, Johnston CC.

    Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202.

    We compared young female figure skaters, aged 10-23, with non-athletic control subjects to ascertain whether there were differences in skeletal densities at various sites... Although the skaters were thinner and significantly more likely to have oligo- or amenorrhea, they had similar skeletal densities at upper body sites (spine, arms, ribs) and significantly greater densities in the pelvis and legs. These differences were not evident until the mid-teens, however, suggesting that there is little likelihood of selection bias as the cause of the observed differences.

    PMID: 8453328 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    -----------
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...arch&DB=pubmed
    Search Words: anorexia nervosa bone density athletes
    Items 1 - 6 of 6

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...t_uids=8667570
    3. JAMA. 1996 Jul 17;276(3):238-40.

    Comment in:
    • JAMA. 1996 Nov 6;276(17):1384-5.

    Bone density at multiple skeletal sites in amenorrheic athletes.

    Rencken ML, Chesnut CH 3rd, Drinkwater BL.

    Department of Radiology, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, USA.

    OBJECTIVE: To determine if there is a generalized loss of bone mass at multiple skeletal sites in amenorrheic athletes compared with a group of eumenorrheic athletes...PARTICIPANTS: Forty-nine athletes, aged 17 to 39 years, were selected from those responding to advertisements in local sporting-goods stores and a track-and-field newsletter. Athletes were defined as amenorrheic if they had had fewer than 2 menstrual cycles in the last 12 months or none in the past 6 months, or eumenorrheic if they had had 10 to 13 cycles in the previous year. Only women who met these criteria, confirmed by tests for estradiol and progesterone levels, were enrolled in the study....RESULTS: Amenorrheic athletes had significantly lower BMD (P < .01) at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, trochanter, Ward triangle, intertrochanteric region, femoral shaft, and tibia... Body weight combined with months of amenorrhea and age of menarche predicted the BMD of the lumbar spine for amenorrheic athletes. Duration of amenorrhea and body weight of amenorrheic athletes predicted BMD at the femoral neck, trochanter, intertrochanteric region, and tibia. Weight alone predicted BMD at the femoral shaft and tibia. Age plus weight predicted lumbar BMD of eumenorrheic women. CONCLUSION: Extended periods of amenorrhea may result in low bone density at multiple skeletal sites including those subjected to impact loading during exercise.

    PMID: 8667570 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Search Words: anorexia nervosa bone density figure skaters
    NO ITEMS FOUND

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    Search Words: anorexia nervosa bone density dancers
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...t_uids=8106634

    J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1994 Feb;78(2):449-54.

    Bone density at weight-bearing and nonweight-bearing sites in ballet dancers: the effects of exercise, hypogonadism, and body weight.

    Young N, Formica C, Szmukler G, Seeman E.

    Department of Endocrinology, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Melbourne, Australia.

    Exercise is recommended as a means of preventing osteoporosis. When intensive, weight-bearing exercise is often associated with hypogonadism. As weight-bearing exercise is likely to be more beneficial at weight-bearing than nonweight-bearing sites, and hypogonadism is likely to be more detrimental to trabecular than cortical bone, we tested the hypothesis that exercise and hypogonadism result in differing regional effects: net benefits at weight-bearing, predominantly cortical sites, and net deficits at nonweight-bearing trabecular-rich sites. Bone density (grams per cm2), body fat, and fat-free mass (kilograms) were measured using dual x-ray absorptiometry in 44 ballet dancers, aged 17.0 +/- 0.2 yr (mean +/- SEM), 18 sedentary amenorrheic girls with anorexia nervosa, and 23 girls of comparable age with regular menstrual cycles. Bone density, expressed as a percentage above or below the mean in the girls with regular menstrual cycles, was normal or elevated at weight-bearing sites in dancers... By contrast, deficits similar to those in girls with anorexia nervosa were found in dancers at nonweight-bearing sites... before, but not after, correcting for fat mass. Fat mass was 7.8 +/- 0.4 kg in dancers, similar to that in girls with anorexia nervosa (6.3 +/- 0.7 kg) and lower than that in girls with regular menstrual cycles (16.8 +/- 1.6 kg; P < 0.01). The net result of vigorous exercise, hypogonadism, and leanness in athletic amenorrhea may not be generalized osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise may offset the effects of hypogonadism at predominantly cortical weight-bearing sites, such as the proximal femur. Non-weight-bearing sites and weight-bearing sites containing substantial amounts of trabecular bone, such as the lumbar spine, may be adversely affected by hypogonadism while benefiting little from weight-bearing exercise. Deficits at nonweight-bearing sites may be attenuated by maintenance of body weight.

    PMID: 8106634 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    ---------------
    Search Words: starvation muscle loss
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...arch&DB=pubmed
    Items 1 - 11 of 11

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...t_uids=2193804
    Eur J Clin Nutr. 1990;44 Suppl 1:55-64.

    10. The possible role of skeletal muscle in the adaptation to periods of energy deficiency.

    Henriksson J.

    Department of Physiology III, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

    Skeletal muscle accounts for a large portion of the body's energy expenditure both at rest and during exercise. The present review focuses on some possible mechanisms for economizing energy in resting and contracting skeletal muscles, and on the available information about whether these mechanisms are important in the energy-deficient body. There is evidence, both in man and in the rat, that in a state of energy deficiency the size of slow-twitch fibres is better preserved than that of the fast-twitch fibres. Slow-twitch fibres have a lower activation threshold, and this seems to decrease their responsiveness to starvation. This would be advantageous as there is evidence that the energy expenditure per unit tension developed is lowest in slow-twitch fibres. There are reports of a slowing of malnourished muscle, but it is uncertain whether the starvation-induced hypothyroid state leads to some degree of fast-to-slow fibre transformation. Muscle glucose oxidation is depressed by starvation, mainly due to changes outside the muscle itself, but muscle enzymatic adaptations may also be important in this energy-saving process. In this respect, the higher capacity of the fatty acid oxidation and aerobic end-oxidation pathways in slow-twitch fibres tend to make them better adapted than fast-twitch fibres. Further muscle adaptations might include a decrease in BMR, possibly by reductions in protein turnover, ion pumping or futile cycling. The importance and costs of such potential adaptations should be evaluated by further research. This knowledge will be an important step in the further understanding of the pathophysiology of starvation.

    PMID: 2193804 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    -----------------
    Search Words: starvation fat loss
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...arch&DB=pubmed
    Items 1 - 110 of 110

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=15147335
    Eur J Clin Invest. 2004 May;34(5):371-7.

    6. Basal and exercise-induced sympathetic nervous activity and lipolysis in adipose tissue of patients with anorexia nervosa.

    Bartak V, Vybiral S, Papezova H, Dostalova I, Pacak K, Nedvidkova J.

    Institute of Endocrinology, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

    BACKGROUND: The sympathetic nervous system plays an important role in the regulation of adipose tissue (AT) lipolysis, which is a key step in the metabolic processes leading to the decrease of fat mass. The present study was designed to determine in vivo basal and exercise-stimulated lipolysis and concentrations of catecholamines, the major hormones controlling lipolysis, in subcutaneous abdominal AT in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), characterized by self-induced starvation and excessive exercises resulting in severe malnutrition and fat store loss. The results of local catecholamines and glycerol levels were compared with those in plasma in both experimental groups. MATERIAL AND METHODS: An in vivo microdialysis technique was used for the assessment of norepinephrine, dihydroxyphenylalanine, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and glycerol concentrations in subcutaneous AT of 10 women with AN (body mass index: 15.57 +/- 0.55 kg m(-2)) and 10 age-matched controls (body mass index: 21.56 +/- 0.41 kg m(-2)). Both the AN patients and the control subjects underwent a 1.5 W kg(-1) exercise test. RESULTS: Basal AT norepinephrine concentrations were increased in the AN patients in comparison with the controls. Basal AT glycerol concentrations were similar in both groups. During exercise, a local increase in the AT norepinephrine and glycerol concentrations was observed in the AN patients only. In contrast to the controls, the basal AT dihydroxyphenylalanine and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid levels in the AN patients were high and remained unchanged during exercise. Basal and exercise-stimulated plasma norepinephrine, dihydroxyphenylalanine, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and glycerol levels were not different in the AN patients and healthy controls. CONCLUSION: Our study provides evidence of elevated baseline and exercise-induced sympathetic nervous activity and exercise-induced lipolysis in abdominal AT of AN patients.

    PMID: 15147335 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    I'm going away for the weekend and NOT taking my laptop so no Rgirl posts until at least Monday and probably Tuesday.

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!
    The crowd goes wild.

    Rgirl

  10. #40
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    Rgirl Chapter & Verse

    Double post--and of a quadruple-length one! Ooh, bad! Sorry.
    Last edited by Rgirl; 03-04-2005 at 11:10 PM.

  11. #41
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    Rgirl..

    You have such a good way with words. You can speak for me any time!!

    It took me lots of years to realize that sometimes the best way to help save someone else from a mistake is to share the truth about my own mistakes. So if sharing my experience helps one reader of GS, or one loved one of a GS reader then it's worth it. And I will again reiterate that I do NOT know if Pang has an ED so I won't even mention her name again. However, my thoughts and best hopes are with her just in case.

    I can easily see how ED's can get started for young athletes. Especially if they are in a training environment where weight management is highly promoted. I'm not suggesting that healthy weight management is not important to competitive athletes because it certainly is. We've all seen examples of figure skaters (as one athlete example) get out of shape and over weight, and have seen their performances negatively impacted by that. Tonya Harding and Nicole Bobek come to mind as possibly having had that problem from time to time IIRC.

    As RGirl points out, there is a HUGE difference between consciouly dieting (even to the point of being too thin) and an eating disorder. One involves rigourous dicipline (even if it's stupid) and the other involves a very twisted mental state that is NOT in touch with reality.

    Here's how my ED got started. I was a competitive young athlete. I didn't train with others in my sport, but "dieting" became a very popular thing to do in my early High School years. It seemed that "everyone" was on a diet, so I should be on a diet too. Being the competitive sort, I guess at some point I decided I would win the diet contest. Can you see how this could happen in a training environment where weight management is emphasized?

    Something absolutely snapped in my head. I already mentioned what I saw in the mirror that was NOT reality. But it seemed real to me. My relationship with food was NOT realistic. It was not nutrition, it was not even comfort, it was MY ENEMY. Meals became a game of getting away from the table (or avoiding the table entirely) while eating as little as possible. A successful meal was convincing others I ate something, when I actually ate NOTHING AT ALL. That was a gold medal performance. The comment about spitting out food really struck home to me. One of my many "tricks" to win my game was putting food in my mouth, going to the bathroom, spitting it out and flushing it. Napkins can be used for this purpose too. I felt "lucky" that we had a little dog at home. He figured out that sitting by my chair was the very best spot around the table.

    Isn't this TWISTED????? But try to imagine being in a mental place where this behavior seems appropriate, and even victorious. If you're saying to yourself THAT is SICK then you are getting my point because you are right.

    Back in those days, ED's were little known. Mom didn't have a clue what the heck was wrong with me. We had not yet arrived at the era where this sicko behavior would have prompted a trip to the local shrink. I was very lucky that whatever "snapped" in the first place somehow "snapped back" into place. I have no idea how or why that happened, but I thank God it did before I starved myself to death.

    That experience has affected me in ways I know for sure, and probably in other ways I only suspect, or don't even know about. In reading RGirl's medical information, I wonder if my deteriorating spine (back surgery 2 years ago) might have started way back then. I know my relationship with food is still not right to this day. I've gone the other extreme and now have a tough time exhibiting any dicipline at all over my eating. It's like a rebellion is still going on somewhere in my brain - sort of like self preservation or something.

    At any rate, ITA with RGirl that while NO coach, teacher, federation, parent or anyone else in their right mind would encourage and promote eating disorders intentionally, it's a VERY personal thing that is mental. And in an environment where young people for whatever reason are focusing intently on weight management it can happen. I can see it happening even more easily in a competitive environment. And once an ED takes hold, the person with the ED becomes very clever at hiding the sicko food behaviors. It's the physical symptoms that are the easiest to spot.

    And for an athlete, not only is there physical evidence in appearance, but also performance. Let's face it. If you are eating little to nothing, you become very weak. I sure did.

    And I hope that parents, relatives etc. don't EVER assume that because a child is under the supervision of coaches, nutritional experts, etc. that an ED SURELY couldn't happen. ED's are often cleverly hidden, in spite of the outward symptoms until it's too late. It becomes a very secretive life style.

    It's hard to imagine what this is like mentally if you've never gone through it. For any of you who are trying to understand and relate, I hope this helps.

    DG
    Last edited by Doggygirl; 03-04-2005 at 11:35 AM.

  12. #42
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    Too thin

    Another problem in discussing the subject of how thin is too thin is that it's difficult to find the right nomenclature in explaining the scientific aspects
    No problem at all. Figure skating is an art as well as a sport. In art, it must be beautiful. Pang is too thin to be beautiful.
    Linny

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2
    In spite of all the talk about the Chinese Federation "starving" athletes, I still believe that Bin Yao will be in the World Hall of Fame for his contribution to skating. He has inspired his athletes and created a new pairs dynasty.

    Hongli,
    I have seen posts that stated the Chinese were against pairs skating at first because the pairs had too much physical contact. Is that true?
    I know during a long period of time boys and girls did not even talk to each other, at least in public, let along body contact. It was considered a taboo, or moral deterioration. For a while figure skating as a whole was considered bourgeois stuff and was banned completely. Skaters and coaches were sent to labour camp for reforming. In China, there was no pair skating until 1979 when they need to send a pair to the World in 1980 in Germany. Bin Yao and his partner was the first pair ever and they had about three or four months to learn pair skating before go to the world. As China had been closed its door to the outside world, these two poor kids did not even have a chance to see what pair skating was like at the beginning. Then they went to the boarder with Soviet Union to watch TV broadcast from SU because China did not have figure skating TV coverage. Their coach didn't know much either, but he did had a chance to come to Canada to watch a live performance before the World. You see the two kids never saw a indoor rink and it was so much smoother than their outdoor rink and the river ice they skated on, they kept bumping into the board. They were so much behind of the other competitors that Bin Yao even didn't want to get to the ice. Bin Yao was deeply hurt by the humiliation he had in the 1980 World. It was purely a power of will that Bin Yao got his pair(s) the opportunity to compete in international event. The situation of pair skating was so hopeless that chinese government, which lived on a shoestring at that time did not want to throw away money on this sport.

    To Rgirl and DoggyGirl:
    Your postings are very informative and it takes great courage to share your personal experience with others. As ED is not well known in China, I will take the liberty to translate the information you provided and send it to Bin Yao. It worth well to take some precaution just in case. By the way, when I said "to make my point that Pang is just thin", I mean it, it was MY point, not a conclusion by any means, and as I mentioned in my post I believe that I came to the point by reasoning not just jump to it. Believe it or not, I do have a way to communicate directly or indirectly with them. I actually directly communicated with Hongbo Zhao. Bin Yao, S/Z can see my comment in their website and forum. I also sent Zhao emails a few times. They do respond to questions and comments.
    Last edited by hongligl; 03-04-2005 at 06:31 PM.

  14. #44
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    Mzheng, thank you for sharing my opinion.

    If you wish you can go to the following website
    http://www.sport.org.cn/starclub/shzh/, a Shen/Zhao website that they do visit now and then, especially Zhao. He answers questions in a quite timely manner. Shen goes there too, just not as often. You can also access Bin Yao's website from there (links). It was not a website like china-ice that involves lots of in-depth disscussions, but the good thing is that it is the place you can get some first hand information and if you have something to say, you can make sure the message will get to the person you want to reach. The previous webmaster cacyshu was very friendly, I even chat with her on the internet for a long time. She sent me emails several times and printed my postings and handed them to Bin Yao and the pairs. Zhao is a very outgoing, friendly and frank person, a bit naive, as normal chinese athletes in general. I'm not sure how the new webmaster would handle it. Anyway, you could give it a try.
    Last edited by hongligl; 03-04-2005 at 06:35 PM.

  15. #45
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    Thanks for all the information hongli. I'm learning a lot from this thread and really enjoying it.

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