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1.  Elevated Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage Are Associated with Decreased Physical Fitness in Soccer Players Aged 12–14 Years 
Asian Journal of Sports Medicine  2012;3(3):168-174.
Adolescents are in increased risk for the development of obesity, while sport has been suggested as an effective means against adolescent obesity. The objectives of this study were to examine (a) the prevalence of overweightness/obesity, (b) the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and body fat percent (BF), and (c) the association between BMI, BF and physical fitness in adolescent soccer players.
Members (n=136, aged 13.1±0.6 yr) of competitive soccer clubs were examined for physical and physiological characteristics.
Based on international BMI cut-off points, 19.9% (n=27) of participants were classified as overweight. BMI was highly correlated with BF (r=0.77, P<0.001). BMI and BF were in inverse relationship with aerobic power (r= − 0.29, P<0.001; r= − 0.44, P<0.001, respectively), maximal anaerobic power (r= − 0.23, P=0.009; r= − 0.47, P<0.001) and local muscular endurance (r= − 0.36, P<0.001; r= − 0.67, P<0.001).
The strong relationship between BMI and BF suggest the further use of BMI in adolescent soccer players. The findings confirmed previous observations in the general population about the negative effect of overweight and fatness on physical fitness. The prevalence of overweightness among participants was similar with what is observed in general population. Therefore, sport participation cannot guarantee physiological body mass and body composition, and it is necessary to prescribe exercise targeting body mass and fat control.
PMCID: PMC3445644  PMID: 23012636
Body Mass Index; Physical Exercise; Sport; Adolescent
2.  Physique and Body Composition in Soccer Players across Adolescence 
Although the contribution of physique and body composition in soccer performance was recognized, these parameters of physical fitness were not well-studied in adolescent players. Aim of this study was to investigate physique and body composition across adolescence.
Male adolescents (N=297 aged 12.01–20.98 y), classified into nine one-year age-groups, child (control group, N=16 aged 7.34–11.97 y) and adult players (control group, N=29 aged 21.01–31.59 y), all members of competitive soccer clubs, performed a series of anthropometric measures (body mass, height, skinfolds, circumferences and girths), from which body mass index (BMI), percentage of body fat (BF%), fat mass (FM), fat free mass (FFM) and somatotype (Heath-Carter method) were calculated.
Age had a positive association with FM (r=0.2, P<0.001) and FFM (r=0.68, P<0.001), and a negative association with BF (r=−0.12, P=0.047). Somatotype components changed across adolescence as well; age was linked to endomorphy (r=−0.17, P=0.005), mesomorphy (r=0.14, P=0.019) and ectomorphy (r=−0.17, P=0.004). Compared with age-matched general population, participants exhibited equal body mass, higher stature, lower body mass index and lower BF.
During adolescence, soccer players presented significant differences in terms of body composition and physique. Thus, these findings could be employed by coaches and fitness trainers engaged in soccer training in the context of physical fitness assessment and talent identification.
PMCID: PMC3289201  PMID: 22375222
Anthropometry; Development; Body Fat; Somatotype; Sport

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