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."

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 ADA at eatright.

Tag Cloud