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Diet for Dancers: A Complete Guide to Nutrition and Weight Control Paperback – January 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Book Company / Dance Horizons; Rep Sub edition (January 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916622894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916622893
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin D. Chmelar has contributed to the journal Medical Problems of Performing Artists. Sally Sevey Fitt is the author of Dance Kinesiology.

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Customer Reviews

I bought this book wondering what I would find.
Amy P
I have only read the first chapter ~seems like a good book for the younger crowd as well!
ballerina~427
Mr. McCarthy recommends that dancers "buy a book about healthy nutrition instead."
Taylor Rockwell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Rockwell on October 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found it shocking and irresponsible that in his review of Chmelar and Fitt's Diet for Dancers, Matthew McCarthy chose to take a few phrases out of context to paint a completely inaccurate portrait of what is the best book I've read on diet and nutrition for dancers.
Chmelar and Fitt are not telling dancers they have to be thin; rather they are reporting the realities that face most dancers who pursue careers in theatrical performing dance and encourage dancers who do not fit the body composition standards for being a professional ballet dancer to seek a style of dance that suits their bodies. Chmelar and Fitt are the only authors I know of who have assembled actual research on the body compositions of15 female professional and university, ballet and modern dancers and compared them to those of five kinds of female athletes. These results show that such dancers need to fit into a pretty narrow range of percent body fat and weight relative to height. For example, university female ballet dancers have a percent body fat range of 9.6% to 20.5% , an average weight of 117.7 +/- 10.4 pounds, and an average height of 65.3 +/-2.0 inches. Similar values are given for female university modern dancers as well as professional ballet and modern dancers. These values are substantially below what is considered an average healthy weight for nondance women. Yet the values for these same categories of male dancers are very similar to those of healthy nondance men. So it is the research that shows that female dancers have to maintain a lower than healthy average body weight; Chmelar and Fitt are simply reporting the facts. Mr. McCarthy seems to be shooting the messenger.
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Amy P on April 12, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book wondering what I would find. Too many of the reviews here would like to make this book out to be a guide to starving oneself thin. The book is very complex, offering the physiology of how food breaks down in the body, how starvation and very low calorie consumption adversely effects the body, and how to calculate proper caloric intake based on weight and activity level. The recommened diet is the Exchange Program, that would be the American Diabetic Assoc. diet. The very same one physicians instruct persons with type 2 diabetes to use. This diet ensures that you eat a variety of foods (starches, meat, veggies, fruits, milk/dairy, and fat) and do not have to directly count calories. This is not a quick weight-loss plan, in fact the book testifies to the fact that this is a slow proccess. I couldn't find anything in this book that recommended unhealthy practices to lose weight.
Bottom Line:This diet WILL work and is not encouraging dangerous behavior in dancers or everyday folks!
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
this book is a necessity for all serious and recreational dancers! It helped me reach a new level in my dancing by giving me guidelines in how to maintain a healthy weight and how to acheive an optimum state of health required in both the professional and pre-profession dance worlds. Even those who are not dancers but want to achieve a healthy body and sustain a healthy lifestyle will benifit greatly from this book. It not only outlines dietary necessities but also stresses the importance of excerise and keeping a well balanced lifestyle.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an awesome little gem of a book. My family are very learned in health/nutrition stuff, but the scientific explanations here are in-depth and important to understanding weight-loss physiology.
What's wonderful about this book is that, while most fat-loss books address the needs of someone who is medically overweight and needs to slim down, this book focuses on people who are already medically thin to begin with, but need to slim down further. Even more importantly, it does this while putting a paramount on your body's health and keeping a watchful eye over eating disorders, which it addresses in a straightforward manner and honestly. A+++ !!
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Brynlee Hudson on March 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written during the Balanchine era, this book works in a way that can actually encourage an eating disorder or create more motivation for someone who already has one. This comes from someone with an eating disorder. While this book does have interesting information and even a couple pages to identity eating disorders, it's important to keep in mind the time this book was written during a different era in ballet and that the biological information is out of date. I verified that with a medical professional.

The average heights, weights, etc., were also taken from quite a while ago, as far as ballet goes. Different ideals are in place now that then. To strive to be the ideal dancer in this book would be to strive to being too thin by modern ballet standards, which is still pretty damned thin.

An updated edition written in a different way would be a better alternative. Otherwise, this book should only be put into the hands of healthy adults without tendency toward eating disorders.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Chmelar & Fitt have created a wonderful tool for the professional and amateur dancer, and for those who dance just for fun, who want to learn how to maintain good eating habits for a lifetime and be happy with their individual body shapes. Whether you would like to lose a little or gain a little or simply maintain your body shape, this book teaches you how to see for yourself the eating habits that need to be learned and unlearned in order to reach your ultimate goal! The difference here is with Chmelar's and Fitt's positive writing style, which makes the reader feel as if anything is possible! Great Stuff!
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