An afternoon watching children participate in sports might be adding inches to the waistlines of the rest of the family, and probably isn't helping the young athlete either, according to an article in the St. Louis Today.
From the article:
“Even if they eat dinner before, something draws them to the concession stand," said [Candi} Cherry, 38, of Chesterfield. "And it's all the fried foods, nachos, french fries with cheese dip, any kind of slushie or snow cone you can imagine, chili with Fritos. It's endless."
"The ball fields are atrocious," said Leigh Shaheen, 51, of Richmond Heights, whose two sons play baseball and soccer. "There's not one healthy thing there. ... But you don't have a choice; you are there for what could be eight hours in a day."
The article also cites a study out of the University of Minnesota which found:
that nearly half of overweight adolescents ages 12 to 17 also participate in organized physical activities. One in four young athletes ages 8 to 16 is overweight.
Part of the reason, they say, is the high-calorie culture surrounding youth sports.
"Youth sport activities get promoted as something that can help curb the obesity epidemic among young people, but the results of our research show that the activity alone might not be enough to combat the issue," said Toben Nelson, a public health researcher at the university.
On average, his research shows, youth sports participants eat more fast food, drink more sugar-sweetened beverages and consume more calories than their non-participating counterparts.