Children Who Play Sports Have Better Eating Habits
Adolescents who play sports have better eating habits and nutrient intake than those who do not, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota.
Eating habits and nutrient intake are two important factors that contribute to performance in sports. The need for adequate energy and nutrients is especially important for adolescents, since their total nutrient needs are higher than during any other time in their lives, and participating in sports can increase energy and nutrient requirements even more.
More than 4,700 junior high and high school students were studied for their meal and snack frequency, energy and nutrient intake and physical activity. The researchers found "sport-involved youth generally ate breakfast more frequently and had higher mean protein, calcium, iron and zinc intakes than their non-sport involved peers."
According to the researchers, "These findings, like others, support a positive association between adolescent sport participation and health."
Children and Young Adults with Diabetes Do Not Meet Nutrition Recommendations
Fewer than half of children and young adults who took part in a national multi-center study of young people with diabetes meet current dietary recommendations for many nutrients, potentially making treatment and management of their diabetes much more difficult, according to researchers at the University of South Carolina and other institutions.
The researchers analyzed at the nutrient intakes of nearly 1,700 10-to-22-year-olds who took part in the five-year nationwide SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study. SEARCH is a multi-center study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, focusing on children in the United States who have diabetes. Participants in the study had either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes for at least 12 months.
The researchers found that less than half the participants met current dietary recommendations for total fat, vitamin E, fiber, fruits, vegetables and grains, "although a majority met recommendations for vitamin C, calcium and iron."
The researchers note that dietary recommendations for youth with diabetes "are based on strong scientific evidence regarding intake of specific nutrients and foods in relation to physiologic health outcomes, including appropriate growth and development through adolescent years and optimizing metabolic status…. Further work to better understand the barriers to healthful dietary habits and to identify effective approaches to improving dietary intake in youth with diabetes is urgently needed."
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association is the official research publication of the American Dietetic Association and is the premier peer-reviewed journal in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
With approximately 65,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Chicago-based ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. To locate a registered dietitian in your area, visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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