Double standards for community sports: Promoting active lifestyles but unhealthy diets

Cancer Council New South Wales, Kings Cross New South Wales.
Health promotion journal of Australia: official journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals (Impact Factor: 0.59). 01/2009; 19(3):226-8.
Source: PubMed


Overweight and obesity in Australia is an emerging health concern. Obesity prevention initiatives must consider both physical activity and nutrition to be effective. Community sports venues have the capacity to promote healthy lifestyles through physical activity as well as healthy food choices.
A telephone survey was conducted on parents of children aged 5-17 years in NSW to determine the nature of food and beverages purchased by children at community sporting venues and to determine parent's perception of the role that government should play in regulating the types of food and beverages sold at these outlets.
The majority of canteens at children's sporting venues were considered to sell mostly unhealthy food and beverages (53%). Very few parents reported that canteens sold mostly healthy food and beverages. Parents reported that their child's most frequently purchased food and beverage items at outdoor sports fields were water, chocolate and confectionery, soft drink and sports drinks, and ice cream. At community swimming pools the most frequently purchased items were ice cream, followed by snack foods, including chips, cakes and biscuits. Most parents (63%) agreed that government should restrict the types of food and beverages that can be sold at children's sporting venues.
Children are receiving inconsistent health messages at sporting venues, with healthy lifestyles being promoted through sports participation, but unhealthy dietary choices being provided at sports canteens.

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Available from: Louise L Hardy, Dec 17, 2014
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    • "The research is significant because of inactivity (Sapkota et al., 2006), which is directly related to ill-health in the form of obesity (Kelly et al., 2008). From this we can conclude that the physiological benefits available through sport are not currently being taken advantage of to the extent that would benefit both individuals and society. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
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    • ", and Kelly et al. (2008) "
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    ABSTRACT: The current systematic review aimed to identify and critically appraise research on food environments in sports settings, including research into the types of food and beverages available, the extent and impact of food and beverage sponsorship and marketing, and views about food environments among key stakeholders. A systematic review. Fourteen English-language studies (two were papers describing different facets of the same study), published between 1985 and 2011, were identified from searches of electronic databases and bibliographies of primary studies. Most studies originated from Australia (n 10), with the remaining studies originating in the UK (n 1), New Zealand (n 1), the USA (n 1) and Canada (n 1). Data were collected from observations in stadia, websites and televised sports events, through in-depth interviews, focus groups and surveys with sports club members, parents and quick serve restaurant managers. Literature exploring food environments in sports settings was limited and had some important methodological limitations. No studies comprehensively described foods available at clubs or stadia, and only one explored the association between food and beverage sponsorship and club incomes. Club policies focused on the impact of health promotion funding rather than the impact of sponsorship or food availability in sports settings. Further research, including comprehensive studies of the food environment in sports settings, is required to document the availability, sponsorship and marketing of food and beverages at national, regional and club levels and to estimate how sports settings may influence children's diets.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Public Health Nutrition
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    • "There are very few published studies of recreational facility food environments [12-14,23-25]. Additional data would be timely and relevant, as several jurisdictions have recently initiated action to improve recreational facility food environments [17,21-24,26,27]. The ANGCY represent a novel public health intervention with relevance for health policy in many nations. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although the mandate of recreational facilities is to enhance well-being, many offer foods inconsistent with recommendations for healthy eating. Little is known regarding recreational facility food environments and how they might be improved, as few studies exist. The Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth (ANGCY) are intended to ensure access to healthy food choices in schools, childcare and recreational facilities. This study investigated awareness, adoption and implementation of the ANGCY among recreational facilities in Alberta, Canada, one year following their release. A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted from June - December, 2009 (n = 151) with managers of publicly funded recreational facilities that served food. The questionnaire included 10 closed and 7 open ended questions to assess the organizational priority for healthy eating, awareness, adoption and implementation of the ANGCY. Chi-squared tests examined quantitative variables, while qualitative data were analysed using directed content analysis. Greenhalgh's model of diffusion of complex innovations within health service organizations constituted the theoretical framework for the study. One half of respondents had heard of the ANGCY, however their knowledge of them was limited. Although 51% of facilities had made changes to improve the nutritional quality of foods offered in the past year, only a small fraction (11%) of these changes were motivated by the ANGCY. At the time of the survey, 14% of facilities had adopted the ANGCY and 6% had implemented them. Barriers to adoption and implementation were primarily related to perceived negative attributes of the ANGCY, the inner (organizational) context, and negative feedback received during the implementation process. Managers strongly perceived that implementing nutrition guidelines would limit their profit-making ability. If fully adopted and implemented, the ANGCY have the potential to make a significant and sustained contribution to improving the recreational facility food environment, however one year following their release, awareness, adoption and implementation of the ANGCY remained low. A mandated policy approach could offer an efficacious, cost-effective means of improving the food environment within recreational facilities.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · BMC Public Health
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