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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611

Abstract

LOPEZ-BUENO, Marta et al. Influence of age and religious fasting on the body composition of Muslim women living in a westernized context. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.3, pp.1067-1073. ISSN 1699-5198.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3305/nh.2015.31.3.8278.

Introduction: Currently there is some controversy to whether Ramadan fasting leads to changes in the nutritional status and body composition of females who observe this practice. Furthermore, recent research suggest that age may be an important factor that affects anthropometric values and body composition just before and at the end of Ramadan. The aim of our study was to analyze the effects of Ramadan fasting, as modulated by age, on the nutritional status and body composition of a group of Muslim female subjects living in a westernized context. Material and Methods: A longitudinal study was carried out of 62 Berber Muslim females of ages ranging from 18 to 61 in the North African city of Melilla (Spain). The nutritional status was evaluated by anthropometry and their body composition studied by means of bioimpedance scales. These evaluations were performed before fasting began and again in the last week of Ramadan. Results: The intermittent fasting produced important changes in the nutritional status and body composition of the female subjects. More specifically, there was a significant reduction (p=0.000) in total body weight values, BMI, body fat percentage measured by bioimpedance, and hip circumference (p=0.008). Significant differences were found (p=0.000) in anthropometric values and body composition before and at the end of Ramadan, depending on age. Conclusions: All the subjects experienced significant changes in nutritional status and body composition at the end of Ramada. These changes were more pronounced in the group of women over thirty years of age.

Keywords : Ramadan; Woman; Anthropometry; Bioelectrical impedance; Body composition.

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