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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   

Minerva Pediatrica 2017 December;69(6):463-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.16.04340-1

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Evaluation of physical activity and dietary behaviors in young athletes: a pilot study

Cristian PETRI 1 , Gabriele MASCHERINI 1, Vittorio BINI 2, Loira TONCELLI 1, Nicola ARMENTANO 1, Piergiuseppe CALÀ 1, Giorgio GALANTI 1

1 Sports Medicine Department, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 2 Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Peurgia, Italy


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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the lifestyle based on the physical activity and eating habits of young athletes.
METHODS: In order to measure physical activity and eating habits in young people, 922 young athletes between the ages of 8 to 18 have been analyzed in this study. The participants were all patients come to our Department for sport eligibility evaluation; we have asked them to complete an accurate questionnaire in order to assess their personal physical activity levels and their regular eating habits. Parents were invited to sign a letter explaining the aims of the study and were asked for permission on behalf of their child to take part on the study.
RESULTS: The eating habits and the physical activity levels of the young athletes observed, resulted improper. We have noticed that the 13.7% of the participants were overweight and obese, despite their practiced sport activity. Physical activity, without sport activity, resulted inadequate in 38.6% of participants: they did not practice regular physical activity.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study clearly indicate that higher education is therefore necessary in order to promote a healthy lifestyle in terms of both eating habits and physical activity not only in young people, but also in parents and coaches of teams.


KEY WORDS: Life style - Food habits - Adolescents - Obesity - Health

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