Adolescents Involved in Weight-Related and Power Team Sports Have Better Eating Patterns and Nutrient Intakes than Non-Sport-Involved Adolescents

Jillian K. Croll, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Mary Story, Melanie Wall, Cheryl Perry, Lisa Harnack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine eating habits and energy and nutrient intake among adolescents participating in weight-related and power team sports and non-sport-involved adolescents. Design: Data were drawn from Project EAT (Eating Among Teens), which was conducted with 4,746 adolescents from 31 middle and high schools in the Minneapolis/St Paul metropolitan area. Setting: Urban secondary schools. Subjects: Adolescents reporting participation in a weight-related sport, a power team sport, or no consistent participation in a sport. Main outcome measures: Meal and snack frequency, mean energy and nutrient intake, and mean physical activity. Statistical analyses performed: Analyses were conducted by sex across the three groups. General linear models were used to compare mean energy and nutrient intake, composite nutrient adequacy, and mean physical activity across the three groups. Percentages of youth meeting nutrient recommendations were compared across the three groups using χ2 tests. Results: For both males and females, youth involved in weight-related sports ate breakfast more frequently than non-sport-involved peers (females: 3.6 and 3.2 times per week, respectively, P<0.01; males: 4.7 and 3.7 times per week, respectively, P<0.01). Weight-related and power team sport-involved youth also had higher mean protein, calcium, iron, and zinc intakes than non-sport-involved peers. However, adolescent females had low calcium intake, regardless of sports involvement (weight-related sports 1,091 mg/day, power team sports 1,070 mg/day, and non-sport-involved 1,028 mg/day, P<0.05). Conclusions: Sport-involved adolescents have better eating habits and nutrient intake than their non-sport-involved peers. However, they are still in need of nutrition interventions, particularly around calcium intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-717
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by grant MCJ-270834 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Title V, Social Security Act), Health Resources and Service Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services.


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