Energy Balance: Assessing Dietary Intake and Changes in Body Composition During National Outdoor Leadership School Expeditions


  • Cass A. Morgan Weber State University
  • Melissa A. Masters Metropolitan State University of Denve
  • Shannon Rochelle National Outdoor Leadership School
  • Tim Ruden Weber State Univeristy
  • John Gookin National Outdoor Leadership School



wilderness nutrition, caloric intake, body composition


This study examined the relationship between dietary intake and changes in participants’ (N = 39) body composition during National Outdoor Leadership School courses. Body composition, height, and weight were measured pre- and posttrip. Participants completed food logs to record daily dietary intake. Changes in anthropometric measurements were analyzed using a paired samples t test. Correlation analyses were conducted to examine relationships between dietary intake parameters and anthropometric changes. Males lost an average of 3.4 (SD = 3.7) kg of weight and females lost 0.10 (SD = 1.6) kg. Males lost an average of 3.7 (SD = 2.7) kg of body fat and females lost an average of 1.5 (SD = 1.9) kg. In contrast, females showed greater gains in lean mass (1.5 ± 1.1 kg) than males (0.32 ± 2.3 kg) did. Average caloric intake for the total sample was 2,865.7 kcal/day (SD = 691.2). Overall, findings indicate that retention of lean body mass may have been due to both adequate carbohydrate and protein intake.Subscribe to JOREL

Author Biographies

Cass A. Morgan, Weber State University

Program Director and Assistant Professor,Outdoor & Community Recreation Education 

Melissa A. Masters, Metropolitan State University of Denve

Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition

Shannon Rochelle, National Outdoor Leadership School

Research Manager

Tim Ruden, Weber State Univeristy

Department of Health Promotion and Human PerformanceHuman Performance Lab Coordinator

John Gookin, National Outdoor Leadership School

NOLS Curriculum & Research Manager


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