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Assessment of nutritional status of regular adolescent swimmers (13-18 yrs)

Author: 
Suvidha, A. and Dr. Navaneetha, R.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Physical activity and good nutrition plays a pivotal role in maintaining good health. Swimming is a low impact activity and a good workout which confers physical and mental health benefits. It was hypothesized that the nutrient intake and nutritional status of the adolescent swimmers (experimental group) will be different from the non swimmers (control group). The BMI will be different from non swimmers (control group). The study was undertaken with an aim to assess the nutritional status of regular swimmers and non-swimmers in the age group of 13-18 years. Assessment of somatic status and nutrient intake were the objectives. A sample consisting of swimmers (N=80) including 40 male swimmers and 40 female swimmers was selected along with the control group containing 30 male swimmers and 30 female non-swimmers (N=60). Irrespective of their status as swimmers or non-swimmers, the mean nutrient intake in both the groups was significantly less than their RDA (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin C). The BMI of the swimmers was less compared to the non-swimmers but within the normal range in case of both the boys and girls. However, the Mid Arm Circumference which depicts the muscle mass was higher among the swimmers. The study revealed that there was no significant difference in the nutrient intake of both the groups irrespective of the competitive sport. Even though nutrient intake is not meeting the RDA, the Mid Arm Circumference is good indicator depicting the importance of physical activity. Even though the nutritional knowledge was good in both the groups, their nutrient intake shows they not practising the same. Most of the swimmers were found to be non-vegetarians following a meal pattern of 4 meals per day, while most of the non-swimmers were found to be vegetarians and ova-vegetarians following a 3 meal pattern per day. A habit of skipping meals was found in adolescent boys(swimmers and non-swimmers). The water consumption was found to be more than 5 litres per day among the swimmers as against the non-swimmers who were consuming less than 3 litres per day.

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