Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Adolescent; Attitude; Body Weight; Child; Cross-Sectional Studies; Drinking; Drinking Behavior; Feeding Behavior; Feeding and Eating Disorders (etiology); Football; Humans; Male; Meals; Risk Factors; Sweating; United States; Weight Loss; Youth Sports


There is a paucity of research examining hydration and nutrition behaviors in youth American football players. A potentially unique risk factor are league restrictions based on weight (WR) or age (AR). The purpose of this study was to examine hydration status between WR and AR leagues. The secondary purpose was to describe eating patterns in players. An observational cohort design with 63 youth football players (10 ± 1 yrs, 148.2 ± 9.4 cm, 44.9 ± 15.3 kg) was utilized. Independent variables were league (AR ( = 36); WR ( = 27)) and activity type (practice (PX = 8); game (GM = 3)). Dependent variables were hydration status (urine osmolality; percent change in body mass (%BM)), eating attitudes (Children's Eating Attitude Test (ChEAT-26)) and self-reported frequency of meals. On average, players arrived activity mildly hypohydrated (830 ± 296 mOsm/kg) and %BM was minimal (-0.1 ± 0.7%) during events. Players consumed 2 ± 1 meals and 1 ± 1 snack before events. The ChEAT-26 survey reported 21.6% ( = 8) of players were at risk for abnormal eating attitudes. Among these players, eating binges, vomiting, excessive exercise and drastic weight loss were reported. Youth American football players arrived activity mildly hypohydrated and consumed enough fluid during activity to maintain euhydration. Abnormal eating attitudes and the use of unhealthy weight loss methods were reported by some youth American football players.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.

APA Citation

Yeargin, S., Torres-McGehee, T. M., Emerson, D., Koller, J., & Dickinson, J. (2021). Hydration, eating attitudes and behaviors in age and weight-restricted youth American football players. Nutrients, 13(8), 2565.