Fast food and youth sports

10 Apr

ahealthiermichigan.org

Is there a connection?  For me, there certainly was.  I remember one of my favorite parts about plaing baseball when I was 10 years old and it had nothing to do with the game on the field.  After most games and some practices, we would stop at McDonalds on the way back home.  Those were my prime eating days, too.  I’m pretty sure my personal record was 5 double cheeseburgers in one meal.  Impressive? Gross?  Probably a bit of both.

Back then it sure seemed as if I could eat anything that I wanted to and it didn’t affect me.  I was an active young kid who played a lot of sports.  I was also a growing boy and all the food never translated into any weight gain.  I was lucky, for sure.  My metabolism was lightning quick, the story could have been a lot different if it wasn’t.

Back to the main point, though.  Is fast food linked to youth sports?  I happen to think it is.  Sports equals practices and games which equals time away from home and the absence of a sit down dinner in a lot of cases.  In my situation, we lived one mile from a McDonalds and we passed it one the way home from the baseball field.  Highly convenient for my parents.  Should they not have stopped so much? Probably, but I don’t blame them one bit.

According to an article featured in Current Sports Medicine Reports, youth involved in sports are more likely to consume fast food, drink sugary beverages, and consume more calories overall.  They are also more likely to consume milk, and fruits and vegetables.  So, there are two sides to the story.  Youth sports definitely do lend themselves to a sort of on-the-go lifestyle for families that can lead them to purchasing fast foods.  The question remains, how much harm is that doing?

Resource:

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Abstract/2011/11000/Do_Youth_Sports_Prevent_Pediatric_Obesity__A.12.aspx

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