Date of Award
Campus Access Thesis
Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Purpose: To examine the relationship between sports participation and adolescent obesity and a dose response in this relationship.
Methods: Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) were used. Controlling for school clustering, logistic regression examined the relationship between sports participation and adolescent obesity. Age, race, Hispanic origin, sex, chronic disease status, working status, other forms of physical activity, and diet were examined as covariates. Both overall and models stratified by sex were performed. These analyses were conducted on two research questions: Whether an association between sports participation and adolescent obesity exists and whether the association changes as sports participation increases from one sport to multiple sports.
Results: When stratifying by sex, sports participation had an insignificant relationship with adolescent obesity in both sexes. Age had a positive association in both males (OR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.28) and females (OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.25). Having a chronic disease was protective against obesity in females (OR = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.47, 0.98), but its relationship was insignificant in males. When defining sports participation as either playing no sports, one sport, or multiple sports the relationship remained insignificant with adolescent obesity in both sexes. In the unstratified model, sports participation had an insignificant relationship with adolescent obesity. Sex (OR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.24, 1.87) and age (OR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.23) had significant associations with adolescent obesity. These covariates had significant associations with adolescent obesity when measuring sports participation categorically, while neither playing one sport nor playing multiple sports had a significant relationship with adolescent obesity.
Discussion: When controlling for a range of covariates, sports participation is not associated with adolescent obesity. Age and sex are both associated with adolescent obesity. Sex is an effect modifier in the relationship between chronic disease status and adolescent obesity, as the relationship is significant only in females. While playing sports may be a good way for adolescents to get the physical activity needed to live healthy lives, sports may not be significantly protective against obesity.
Culpepper, W.(2010). The Relationship Between Sports Participation and Adolescent Obesity. (Master's thesis). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/164