The Effects of Sugar Consumption on Physical Activity Performance in Children, aged 6-11 Open Access

Perkins, Suzanne (Spring 2020)

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Context: The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that children aged 6-17 engage in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity daily. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends limiting added sugars to less than 10% of daily calories. They estimated that children 2-19 years old consumed 14% of their daily calories through added sugar. Objective: To understand the association between percent calories from all forms of sugar and performance on five different physical fitness activities. Study Design: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey National Youth Fitness Survey, NNYFS, a multistage probability sample of the noninstitutionalized resident population of the United States. The NNYFS survey included a household interview, 24-hour dietary recall, and a physical activity and fitness examination in a mobile examination center(MEC)Dataset: NHANES NNYFSPopulation Studied: Children age 6-11 years old (n=703) excluding those with mobility limitations; physician diagnosed diabetes; taking insulin currently; or taking diabetic pills to lower blood sugar. Exposure: Percent calories from sugar. Outcome Measures: Five physical fitness activities: sum grip strength, average lower body strength, modified pull-up, plank hold, and aerobic fitness. Results: Males consumed an average of 26.7% calories from sugar and females 26.4%. For both males and females, only 3% consumed 10% or less calories from sugar, the recommended level. The association between quartiles of percent calories from sugar was inconsistent across all five physical activities and sexMultivariable regression analysis revealed no significant associations between percent calories from sugar and physical activity performance. Percent calories from sugar in males was positively associated with average lower body strength and modified pull-up but only among those with $0-19,999 or +$100,000 household income, respectively. ConclusionIn this nationally representative dataset the majority of U.S. children age 6-11 consumed sugar intakes beyond recommendations. Overall, there was little evidence of an association between sugar intake and measures of physical activity. These findings should inform further research to look at quality of diet as a whole versus consumption of specific food groups.

Table of Contents

Introduction p.1-2

Methods p.3-5

Results p.6-8

Discussion p.9-10

References p.11-12

Tables p.13-17

Table 1 Distribution of Demographic Information and Physical Activity by Gender p.13

Table 2 Analysis of Demographics and Physical Activity by Quartiles of Percent Calories from Sugar p.14

Table 3 Quartiles of Percent Calories from Sugar by Demographics and Physical Activity p.15

Table 4 Multiple Linear Regression Analysis Results for Physical Activity: Males p.16

Table 5 Multiple Linear Regression Analysis Results for Physical Activity: Females p.17

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