Assessment of diet quality and physical activity of soccer players aged 13 to 16, from the Principality of Asturias, Spain = Evaluación de la calidad de la dieta y de la actividad física en jugadores de fútbol, de 13 a 16 años, del Principado de Asturias

Introduction Diet and physical activity are factors that have key roles in childhood overweight and obesity prevention. Appropriate assessment of these factors is an essential task in public health. Objective The main aims of the study are to assess body composition, physical activity, and adherence to Mediterranean diet of soccer players, aged 13 to 16 years old in Asturias, Spain. It also aims to evaluate the relationships between diet, physical activity, body composition, and personal characteristics. Methods A cross-sectional descriptive survey approach was used involving children (n = 303) with a mean age of 14.15 years (SD = 1.06), and using the KIDMED and PAQ-A questionnaires to assess adherence to Mediterranean diet and level of physical activity, respectively. Body composition was represented using the participants’ body mass index. Results Approximately 23.1% of the participants were overweight or obese. With regards to adherence to Mediterranean diet, 54.8% of the participants had medium adherence, while 8.9% had low adherence. PAQ-A mean score was 2.69 (SD = 0.47). Excess weight was associated with being a goalkeeper (P = .001), higher PAQ-A (P = .011), and lower KIDMED scores (P = .032). Correlation analysis showed an inverse association between age and PAQ-A score (r = −0.122), and a direct association between KIDMED and PAQ-A scores (r = 0.152). Conclusion Participants had an adequate level of physical activity. However, they had an obesogenic profile similar to that of their age population, who were not soccer players. Actions to improve adherence to healthy diet practices are highly recommended ​
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