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Youth Athlete Health & Safety Study: Part 3 – Nutrition and Eating Habits

This is the third part of the Fundamentals of Health and Safety study series, a four part story about the current situation of youth athlete awareness around the topics of injury prevention, nutrition, safety and sleep.

We already identified the existing knowledge gaps around the topic of injury prevention and health and sleep.

In 2020, as part of the Regional Youth Football initiative for Football Development in Baltic`s project, a study for youth football players aged 9-12 took place. In total 560 respondents participated and answered questions around health, trauma prophylaxis, basics of nutrition, sleep regime during intense load conditions, and safety provisions.

A total of 11 questions were provided concerning nutrition and eating habits to find out how educated our youngest athletes are. Here are the key highlights:

  • 1 in 13 knows the difference between carbohydrates, proteins and fats
  • 1 in 9 knows which products contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats
  • 1 in 6 knows what happens in the body if excess amount of sugar is consumed
  • 43% knows which products contain excess amount of sugar
  • 44% knows what should be in a athlete`s daily diet

Overall, around 30% of the kinds have a good level of understanding around the topic of nutrition and healthy eating habits whilst close to half of the kids lack the required knowledge. This particular topic is arguably the most important and should be paid the most attention to not only by the players themselves but also by their parents and coaches. Proper eating habits established early in the life will ensure greater long term benefits that will contribute to balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Particular focus should be paid towards enlightening our youngest generation about how different food groups impact our bodies and energy levels as well as short and long term benefits of choosing healthy or unhealthy food options. Similarly, great habits should be instilled in families as it will contribute towards establishing healthy environment for young athlete to grow and prosper.

One of the focus of minute.coach is to provide every kid with the necessary tools to learn more about healthy lifestyle, including what to eat and what to avoid, and we are committed to provide our next generation of athletes and tomorrow`s decision makers with the information they require to become fully functional and successful members of our society.

If you want to find out more how we can help your player, team or club learn more about these topics in a fun, easy and engaging way, get in touch with us via our e-mail office@minute.coach

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