Relationships of Activity and Sugar Drink Intake on Fat Mass Development in Youths

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To determine whether a significant relationship exists between fat mass (FM) development and physical activity (PA) and/or sugar-sweetened drink (SD) consumption in healthy boys and girls aged 8-19 yr.


A total of 105 males and 103 females were assessed during childhood and adolescence for a maximum of 7 yr and a median of 5 yr. Height was measured biannually. Fat-free mass (FFM) and FM were assessed annually by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). PA was evaluated two to three times annually using the PAQ-C/A. Energy intake and SD were assessed using a 24-h dietary intake questionnaire also completed two to three times per year. Years from peak height velocity were used as a biological maturity age indicator. Multilevel random effects models were used to test the relationship.


When controlling for maturation, FFM, and energy intake adjusted for SD, PA level was negatively related to FM development in males (P < 0.05) but not in females (P > 0.05). In contrast, there was no relationship between SD and FM development of males or females (P > 0.05). There was also no interaction effect between SD and PA (P > 0.05) with FM development.


This finding lends support to the idea that increasing PA in male youths aids in the control of FM development. Models employed showed no relationship between SD and FM in either gender.

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