Term of Award


Degree Name

Master of Education

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Tom Paul

Committee Member 1

James McMillan

Committee Member 2

Patrick R. Cobb

Committee Member 3

Steve Lang

Committee Member 4

George Gaston and Frieda Brown


The iron status and dietary intake of male (n=7) and female (n=6) cross-country runners were studied during their competitive season. Iron status was evaluated by the following hematological indices: hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (HCT), total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and serum ferritin (SF). an initial and final iron status evaluation was conducted over the season. The dietary intake data consisted of five three-day food records taken periodically during the competitive season. Only one male's blood index was not within the normal range for both evaluations. One male was reported to have a low SF level (12 ng/ml) in the final evaluation. However, all seven male subjects' SF values significantly decreased (p< 0.05) from the initial to the final evaluation. The Hb values of the six female subjects were all within the normal range (12-16 g/dl) after the initial and final blood evaluation. The initial HCT value of one female (36%) was below the normal range (37-47%). The TIBC values of all six females increased from the initial blood evaluation to the final. However, only one female's TIBC value (498 mcg/dl) was above the normal range. All six female subjects' SF values significantly decreased (p< 0.01) from the initial blood evaluation to the final blood evaluation. Also, all the female subjects' SF values were below the normal range after the final blood evaluation. All subjects' diets were analyzed for total kilocalories, carbohydrate, fat, protein, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate. The seven males' average daily caloric intake was 3157.0 kilocalories, of which 49.1% was carbohydrate, 34.8% fat and 13.3% protein. The male average daily dietary intake of iron was 16.1 mg which was above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 10 mg for males between the ages of 19-24 (Food and Nutrition Board, 1989) . The six females' average daily dietary intake was 2724.0 kilocalories, of which 54.15% was carbohydrate, 32.4% fat , and 11.6% protein. The females's average dietary intake of iron without and with supplements respectively were 14.4 mg and 106.1 mg. The females' average daily iron intake without supplements was below the RDA of 15 mg for women between the ages of 19-24 (Food and Nutrition Board, 1989). It can be concluded form the present study that all male cross-country team members maintained their RDA for iron but still had a significant decrease (p< 0.05) in serum ferritin. However, they were not iron deficient or anemic. The female cross-country runners in the present study developed and iron deficiency during their competitive season. They experienced a significant decrease (p< 0.01) in SF with final values that were below normal. Finally, the male and female cross¬ country team members' changes in iron status did not affect performance.


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