University of Oulu

Heikkilä, L, Korpelainen, R, Aira, T, et al. The associations between adolescents’ sports club participation and dietary habits. Transl Sports Med. 2021; 4: 617– 626.

The associations between adolescents’ sports club participation and dietary habits

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Author: Heikkilä, Laura1,2,3; Korpelainen, Raija1,2,3; Aira, Tuula4;
Organizations: 1Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation sr., Oulu, Finland
2Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
5Sports Medicine Clinic, Foundation for Sports and Exercise Clinic, Helsinki, Finland
6Sports and Exercise Medicine Clinic, Central Finland Hospital Nova, Jyväskylä, Finland
7Paavo Nurmi Centre & Unit for Physical Activity and Health, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
8Tampere Research Center of Sports Medicine, Tampere, Finland
9Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, Kuopio, Finland
10Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
11Research Center for Olympic Sports, Jyväskylä, Finland
12UKK Institute of Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland
13Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-27


For adolescent athletes, data on nutrition behaviors are limited. The present study aimed to evaluate the dietary habits of adolescent sports club participants (SPs) compared with those of non-participants (NPs). The cross-sectional study of 1917 adolescents aged 14-16 was based on data from the Finnish Health Promoting Sports Club (FHPSC) study. The health behavior surveys were conducted among SPs (n = 1093) and NPs (n = 824). Logistic regression was used to test statistical significance of the differences in dietary habits between SPs and NPs. SPs were more likely than NPs to eat breakfast on weekends [89% vs 79%, odds ratio (OR) 1.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-2.01] and to report daily consumption of vegetables (46% vs 32%, OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.04-1.69) and fat-free or semi-skimmed milk (72% vs 55%, OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.04-1.68). Dietary habits regarded as unhealthy, such as sugared soft drink consumption, were similar between the groups. The aforementioned healthy dietary habits are more frequent in SPs than NPs, and unhealthy dietary habits are equally frequent in the groups. Both adolescent SPs’ and NPs’ dietary habits have deficiencies, like inadequate vegetable and fruit consumption. Sports clubs’ opportunities for adolescents’ healthy eating promotion should be examined.

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Series: Translational sports medicine
ISSN: 2573-8488
ISSN-E: 2573-8488
ISSN-L: 2573-8488
Volume: 4
Issue: 5
Pages: 617 - 626
DOI: 10.1002/tsm2.249
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 315 Sport and fitness sciences
3141 Health care science
Funding: This work was supported by The Ministry of Education and Culture [grant numbers 6/091/2011, 28/626/2016] and The Finnish Cultural Foundation. We would like to thank all of the adolescents, sports clubs, and schools that participated in this study.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Translational Sports Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.