Oversized young athletes: A weighty concern

Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, Lenox Hill Hospital, 130 East 77th Street, New York, NY 10075, USA.
British Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.03). 11/2009; 44(1):45-9. DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2009.068106
Source: PubMed


The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is increasing worldwide, with a corresponding decline in physical fitness and general physical activity level. Overweight and obese adolescents are more than twice as likely to be injured in sports and other physical activities compared with non-overweight and non-obese adolescents. Obese adolescent athletes are more than three times as likely to sustain an ankle sprain compared with normal weight adolescent athletes. At the societal level, promoting physical activity for children and improving dietary habits are key strategies for lowering the prevalence of overweight and obesity. The increased risk of injury associated with being overweight or obese may in part be due to low physical activity level. Promotion of physical activity for children can provide neuromuscular training that may be beneficial in decreasing injury risk associated with general play and sports participation. For lower-extremity injuries, specific neuromuscular training interventions, such as balance training, have great potential in reversing the increased injury risk associated with overweight and obesity. Finally, the injured overweight young athlete may have a more prolonged recovery period than non-overweight young athletes. Early aggressive treatment of swelling with physical modalities, prolonged non-weight bearing, limited period of immobilisation and regular repetitive passive joint motion are indicated for the overweight young athlete with a lower-extremity joint injury.

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Available from: Malachy McHugh, Aug 06, 2015
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    • "Other studies also report that obese youngsters often have more difficulties in meeting the physical activity guidelines compared with normal-weight people [11,12]. Second, although the WHO recommendations state that the emphasis should be on aerobic exercises, overweight and obese are not only physically limited by their weight when it comes to the performance of aerobic exercises [13], but they also have higher risks of injuries with aerobic exercises [14]. Third, to stimulate overweight people to be more physically active, and for long-term compliance, it is important not to focus on what overweight youngsters have to do, but on what they like to do [15▪,16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review Optimizing the approach to combat childhood obesity, we emphasize the importance of combining both biological and psychological knowledge. In such an approach, strength exercises might be an important aspect in the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity. Recent findings Recent evidence indicates plausible effects of the role of resistance exercise in combating the negative health effects of childhood obesity. When looking at body composition, overweight youngsters do not only have a higher fat mass, but also a higher muscle mass compared with their normal-weight counterparts. With that, they are also stronger and better in exercises wherein the focus is on absolute strength, making them – under the right circumstances – more motivated to engage in resistance exercise and ultimately maintain a physically active lifestyle. Summary More and more children are obese, and obese children become obese adults. One reason that overweight youngsters are not physically active is that they are outperformed by normal-weight youngsters, and one reason they are overweight is because they are not physically active. To combat childhood obesity, strength exercise might be a solution to break the vicious cycle.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
    • "However, literature shows a clear association in adults between rising body mass index (BMI) and sustaining injuries (Goulding et al., 2000; Finkelstein et al., 2007; Krul et al., 2009; McHugh, 2010). Recent evidence indicates that overweight and obese children and adolescents are at increased risk of injury in sports and physical activity as well (McHugh, 2010). In addition, obesity in childhood is associated with an increased risk of fractures and reported complaints of the musculoskeletal system (Goulding et al., 2000; Krul et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Physical activity and sports participation are promoted to counteract the increased prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and young adults. Both high body mass index and physical activity level have been associated with an increased risk of sports injuries. The objective is to determine the relationship between sports injuries and overweight in sports participants (4-24 years), taking physical activity into account. Data were obtained from the 2006-2011 "Injuries and Physical Activity in the Netherlands" survey. Analyses were based on a representative sample of 3846 sports participants (4-24 years). Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were applied to investigate the association between sports injury and weight status. Of all the sports participants, 14.7% were overweight. Compared with normal-weight sports participants, the odds of sustaining a sports injury was 0.73 [confidence interval (CI): 0.53-1.00, P = 0.050] for overweight sports participants; the odds for underweight sports participants was 0.80 (CI: 0.56-1.15, P = 0.226). There is some evidence that overweight sports participants (4-24 years) do not have an increased injury risk compared with normal-weight sports participants, even when the level of physical activity is taken into account. Additional research is recommended regarding overweight people who start to participate in a physically active lifestyle.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
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    ABSTRACT: As seen within this thematic issue on children's and youth sports, sports medicine has a complex relationship with child health. On the one hand, much of the world is experiencing an epidemic of childhood obesity. The physical activity inherent in sports is viewed as a means of combating this epidemic. However, sports also lead to injuries which can cause short and long-term disabilities. With homage to legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, the role of sports medicine in promoting the health of children fits within the construct of a pyramid. Coach Wooden used a pyramid to describe the qualities necessary for success. A pyramid depends upon symmetric strength, a firm foundation, and a solid heart at its center. Its peak is the goal, which in this case is child health. The pyramid of sports medicine and child health is shown in Figure 1 and described below.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · British Journal of Sports Medicine
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