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Body fat in children and adolescents participating in organized sports: Descriptive epidemiological study of 6048 Latvian athletes
State Sports Medical Centre, Latvia; Latvian University, Latvia.
State Sports Medical Centre, Latvia.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center for Health and Developmental Care, Center for Public Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6049-5402
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.
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2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 43, no 6, 615-622 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Pressure among young athletes to meet body composition goals may lead to poor nutrition and affect growth. Aims: To examine the proportion of body fat (%BF), measured by bioimpedance analysis, among Latvian children and adolescents participating in organized sports. Methods: Our study had a nationally representative sample of 6048 young athletes, aged 10-17 years. Their %BF was measured using a multifrequency, 8-pole, bioelectrical impedance leg-to-hand analyzer. Results: About 19.2% (CI 14.4-20.0) of boys and 15.1% (CI 14.0-16.3) of girls had a %BF value below the recommended levels. The %BF in young female athletes participating in aesthetic sports was lower than among their peers participating in other sports. Young male athletes participating in aesthetic sports had lower %BF levels at 10 and 12 years of age, compared with participants in weight-class sports; and lower levels of %BF from age 10-14 years, compared with participants in non-weight-sensitive sports. Conclusions: Almost every fifth child and adolescent participating in organized sports displayed critically low body fat levels. Body fat needs to be assessed regularly in young athletes, to prevent negative consequences on health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD , 2015. Vol. 43, no 6, 615-622 p.
Keyword [en]
Adolescents; aesthetic sports; body fat; body mass index; children; eating disorders; Latvia; percentage body fat; reference curves; sports; sport types; young athletes
National Category
Basic Medicine Clinical Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121440DOI: 10.1177/1403494815581696ISI: 000360391600008PubMedID: 25948090OAI: diva2:855110

Funding Agencies|State Sports Medicine Centre of the Latvian Ministry of Health

Available from: 2015-09-18 Created: 2015-09-18 Last updated: 2015-09-18

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Timpka, ToomasDahlström, ÖrjanNylander, Eva
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Division of Community MedicineFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesCenter for Public HealthDisability ResearchFaculty of Arts and SciencesThe Swedish Institute for Disability ResearchDivision of Cardiovascular MedicineDepartment of Clinical Physiology in LinköpingCenter for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV)
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