Healthy Eating Index and Dietary Inflammatory Index are not correlated with body composition in female collegiate athletes

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Journal of American College Health




Objective This cross-sectional study investigated associations among the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015, Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII), and body composition in female collegiate athletes.

Participants Female NCAA Division I student-athletes (n = 41, 18–21 years old) were included from various sports and did not report any diagnosed chronic diseases.

Methods Demographics, dietary intake, anthropometrics, and body composition, including bone mineral density, were collected utilizing a questionnaire, three interview-based multiple-pass 24-h dietary recalls, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Results Mean HEI-2015 and DII scores (using 39 of 45 components) were 56.2 ± 13.5 and −0.1 ± 1.9, respectively. Athletes did not meet recommended intake levels for servings of fruit, vegetables, fiber, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3, and omega-6. Saturated fat and added sugar intake exceeded the recommended intakes. Diet quality indices and body composition measures were not correlated.

Conclusions Although female collegiate athletes consumed poor-quality diets, this was not associated with body composition or bone health.


Body composition, collegiate athletes, diet quality, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, 24-h dietary recalls


Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging