Nutrition Journal

, 9:18

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The effects of dietary fasting on physical balance among healthy young women

  • Shanthi JohnsonAffiliated withFaculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina Email author 
  • , Krista LeckAffiliated withFormerly, School of Nutrition & Dietetics, Acadia University



The study examined the effects of dietary fasting on physical balance among young healthy women.


This study undertaken involving 22 young healthy women (age = 22 ± 1.5) using a within subject counterbalanced 2-week crossover study design. Participants were asked to refrain from consuming any food or beverage for 12 hours prior to the fasting trial and to maintain their regular diet for the non-fasting trial. Measures included: a background questionnaire, 24-hour dietary recall, and functional reach and timed single-limb stances.


Fasting resulted in significant declines in functional reach (p < 0.01), and ability to balance in a single limb stance with eyes open, on both the dominant and non-dominant legs (p < 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively), and with eyes closed on the dominant leg (p < 0.01).


The findings have implications for athletic performance in younger individuals as well as emphasizing the need for health education for young women to avoid skipping meals.