A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota found young athletes may be getting the exercise they need, but not the healthiest food. The most popular food among young players included pizza, hot dogs, salty snacks, chips and sweets. Parents also reported taking their children to fast-food restaurants after games or practices.
The researchers questioned 60 parents of youth basketball players and hosted eight focus groups. They found that many of the parents were so busy with getting their kids to various games and practices, it made it easier to opt for these foods. However, many were also looking to change in order to give their children a healthier diet. They also expressed the need for healthier foods in concession stands.
"The food environment in youth sport exposes kids and their families to many unhealthful foods and beverages and few healthful options," said lead researcher Toben F. Nelson. "Youth who participate in sports spend considerable time in these activities outside of school, and these sport environments are likely to influence their eating behavior."