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Summer Dawn DeBastiani, Dianna D. Carroll, Melissa Cunningham, Sarah Lee and Janet Fulton

Background:

To measure parental awareness of government physical activity guidelines and knowledge of the amount of physical activity recommended for youth (ie, 60 minutes per day, 7 days per week) as specified in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Methods:

A cross-sectional national sample of adults responded to physical activity guideline questions added to the HealthStyles survey in 2009 (n = 1552). The prevalence of parents aware of government physical activity guidelines and knowledgeable of the youth physical activity guideline, specifically, was estimated overall and by parental demographic characteristics (sex, education, income level, race/ethnicity, age group, marital status) and body mass index.

Results:

In 2009, 34.8% of parents reported being aware of physical activity guidelines, and 9.7% were knowledgeable of the amount of physical activity recommended for youth.

Conclusions:

Many parents lack awareness and knowledge of the youth physical activity guidelines. The low prevalence estimates suggest the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans has not been effectively disseminated. These results may also indicate a need for effective communication strategies to educate and inform parents, an important influencer of children’s health behaviors.

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Shannon L. Michael, Edward Coffield, Sarah M. Lee and Janet E. Fulton

Background:

Federal guidelines state that youth should participate in a variety of physical activity (PA) they find enjoyable. Little is known, however, about how variety and enjoyment are associated with PA participation among adolescents.

Methods:

Data came from the 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey, a nationally representative survey of adolescents. Path analysis was used to examine the association of a variety of self-reported PA, defined as the number of activities and activity types (ie, team sports/weightlifting, individual activities, and other competitive/recreational sports), on self-reported PA enjoyment and participation. The analysis also examined whether enjoyment mediates the association between a variety of PA and participation. Separate models were estimated for boys and girls.

Results:

Number of activities was associated with increased PA enjoyment and participation. For boys and girls, team sports/weightlifting was associated with increased participation, and individual activities were indirectly associated with increased participation through enjoyment. For boys, team sports/weightlifting was indirectly related with participation.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that participation in a variety of PA is associated with increased PA enjoyment and participation. Providing opportunities for adolescents to engage in a variety of activities might help them identify PA they enjoy and facilitate lifelong PA habits.

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Gregory R. Cox, Iñigo Mujika and Cees-Rein van den Hoogenband

Water polo is an aquatic team sport that requires endurance, strength, power, swimming speed, agility, tactical awareness, and specific technical skills, including ball control. Unlike other team sports, few researchers have examined the nutritional habits of water polo athletes or potential dietary strategies that improve performance in water polo match play. Water polo players are typically well muscled, taller athletes; female players display higher levels of adiposity compared with their male counterparts. Positional differences exist: Center players are heavier and have higher body fat levels compared with perimeter players. Knowledge of the physical differences that exist among water polo players offers the advantage of player identification as well as individualizing nutrition strategies to optimize desired physique goals. Individual dietary counseling is warranted to ensure dietary adequacy, and in cases of physique manipulation. Performance in games and during quality workouts is likely to improve by adopting strategies that promote high carbohydrate availability, although research specific to water polo is lacking. A planned approach incorporating strategies to facilitate muscle glycogen refueling and muscle protein synthesis should be implemented following intensified training sessions and matches, particularly when short recovery times are scheduled. Although sweat losses of water polo players are less than what is reported for land-based athletes, specific knowledge allows for appropriate planning of carbohydrate intake strategies for match play and training. Postgame strategies to manage alcohol intake should be developed with input from the senior player group to minimize the negative consequences on recovery and player welfare.

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Janet E. Fulton, Xuewen Wang, Michelle M. Yore, Susan A. Carlson, Deborah A. Galuska and Carl J. Caspersen

Background:

To examine the prevalence of television (TV) viewing, computer use, and their combination and associations with demographic characteristics and body mass index (BMI) among U.S. youth.

Methods:

The 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was used. Time spent yesterday sitting and watching television or videos (TV viewing) and using the computer or playing computer games (computer use) were assessed by questionnaire.

Results:

Prevalence (%) of meeting the U.S. objective for TV viewing (≤2 hours/day) ranged from 65% to 71%. Prevalence of no computer use (0 hours/day) ranged from 23% to 45%. Non-Hispanic Black youth aged 2 to 15 years were less likely than their non-Hispanic White counterparts to meet the objective for TV viewing. Overweight or obese school-age youth were less likely than their normal weight counterparts to meet the objective for TV viewing

Conclusions:

Computer use is prevalent among U.S. youth; more than half of youth used a computer on the previous day. The proportion of youth meeting the U.S. objective for TV viewing is less than the target of 75%. Time spent in sedentary behaviors such as viewing TV may contribute to overweight and obesity among U.S. youth.

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Jeffrey K. Kawaguchi and Robin K. Pickering

Edited by Mary Barnum

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Kelly R. Evenson, Kimberly B. Morland, Fang Wen and Kathleen Scanlin

This study describes moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior among New York City (NYC) residents 60 years and older and compared with national United States’ estimates. Adults aged 60 or older living in NYC (n = 760) were compared with similar aged adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; n = 2,451 adults). Both groups wore an ActiGraph accelerometer for one week. The NYC sample recorded 13.2, 23.8, and 37.8 mean min/day of MVPA and the NHANES sample recorded 10.6, 21.1, and 39.3, depending on the definition. Sedentary behavior averaged 9.6 hr/day for the NYC sample and 9.3 hr/day for the NHANES sample. The NYC sample spent a longer proportion of time in sedentary behavior and light activities, but more time in MVPA than the NHANES sample. Urbanicity may explain some of the differences between the two samples.

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Kim C. Graber and Lawrence F. Locke

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Kevin J. Beasley

Gaelic football is the second most popular team sport in Ireland in terms of participation. However, very little research exists on the nutritional considerations for elite male Gaelic footballers. Gaelic football is an intermittent type field game played by two teams of fifteen players. Although amateurs, elite players may train and compete 4–5 times per week and may play for several teams. Research suggests that elite footballers are similar anthropometrically and in fitness to professional soccer players. Work-rate analysis shows that footballers experience longer durations of high-intensity (HI) activity (5–7s) and shorter rest durations than soccer players. Recent data suggests that half-forward/backs perform a greater amount of HI work during games than players in other positions. Fatigue is apparent between the first and second halves and the first and fourth quarters. The limited amount of nutritional studies conducted implies that footballers may be deficient in energy intake and may be at the lower end of recommended carbohydrate intakes to support training. A wide variety of sweat rates have been measured during training, demonstrating the importance of individual hydration strategies. Ergogenic aids such as creatine and caffeine may prove beneficial to performance, although data are extrapolated from other sports. Due to the lack of research in Gaelic football, further population specific studies are required. Future areas of research on the impact of nutrition on Gaelic football performance are examined. In particular, the creation of a test protocol mimicking the activity patterns and intensity of a Gaelic football game is warranted.

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Caroline A. Heaney

Column-editor : Craig A. Wrisberg and Leslee A. Fisher

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Shane V. Caswell, Matthew York, Jatin P. Ambegaonkar, Amanda M. Caswell and Nelson Cortes