Nutritional Considerations for Sport Participation in Children and Adolescents With Obesity
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There is a high prevalence of children with obesity who are participating in sports. Appropriate nutritional considerations are important to optimize health and training adaptations. This review focuses on macronutrient recommendations and their effect on weight management and/or benefits for athletic training for children ages 5 to 18 years. Equal distribution of protein intake throughout the day (~25-30 g/meal) and during postexercise recovery is recommended. Special attention should be given to increasing protein intake during breakfast because it is often the meal with the least protein intake. Both postexercise recommendations for protein (~0.3 g/kg of body weight) and carbohydrate (~1.0-1.2 g/kg/h) were not determined in children with obesity, and require future verification. Individual carbohydrate needs of training to meet fuel costs are recommended, but ~200 to 500 g/day of carbohydrate may be required depending on a child's level of sport participation and competition. Fat intake should follow general recommendations to meet the accepted macronutrient distribution range in children (25% to 35%) and reduce saturated fat intake. No evidence suggests that additional dietary fat modifications would improve training adaptations in children. Longitudinal studies are required to further our understanding of age and sex effects and confirm the appropriate quantity of macronutrients for active children with obesity.