Sport Participation and Metabolic Risk During Adolescent Years: A Structured Equation Model

André Oliveira Werneck, Danilo Rodrigues Pereira da Silva, Rômulo Araújo Fernandes, Enio Ricardo Vaz Ronque, Manuel J Coelho-E-Silva, Edilson Serpeloni Cyrino
International Journal of Sports Medicine 2018, 39 (9): 674-681
Sports practice during childhood can influence health indicators in later ages through direct and indirect pathways. Thus, this study aimed to test direct and indirect pathways to the association between sports practice in childhood and metabolic risk in adolescence, adopting physical activity, adiposity, and cardiorespiratory fitness at adolescence as potential mediators. This cross-sectional study with retrospective information was conducted with 991 adolescents (579 girls, 412 boys) aged 10 to 16 y. Sports activity was self-reported in childhood (retrospective data) and physical activity evaluated in adolescence through questionnaires. Somatic maturation (Mirwald method), cardiorespiratory fitness (20-m shuttle-run test), body fat (skinfolds), waist circumference, blood pressure (automatic instrument) and blood variables (fasting glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides) were measured at adolescence. Waist circumference, blood pressure and blood variables composed the metabolic risk score. Structured equation modeling was adopted. In both sexes, the relationship between sports practice at childhood and metabolic risk was fully mediated by habitual physical activity, which is related to the obesity construct and cardiorespiratory fitness. Obesity was associated with metabolic risk in boys (β=0.062; p<0.001) and girls (β=0.047; p<0.001). The relationship between sports practice in childhood and metabolic risk in adolescence was mediated by physical activity, obesity, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

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