Is there a difference in nutritional intake between physically active individuals when compared with sedentary individuals?
(2017) Is there a difference in nutritional intake between physically active individuals when compared with sedentary individuals?, no. 30.
Both physical activity (PA) and dietary habits are key determinants of cardiorespiratory fitness, weight status and overall health in individuals. Dietary intake plays a vital role in the supplying of important micro and macro nutrients responsible for the provision and facilitation of energy utilisation, whilst undertaking and recovering from physical activity. Increases in physical activity and improved dietary habits on their own are associated with positive health outcomes, furthermore, in combination, they yield a higher degree of positive health outcomes. It is unclear whether macronutrient and micronutrient intake are affected by physical exercise (DONNELLY et al 2014). It is not yet determined whether physically active individuals consume a more nutritionally complete diet or achieve higher intakes of key nutrients through higher consumption of total energy. The present study is aimed to evaluate whether there is an association between diet quality and PA by comparing the dietary habits of physically active males vs sedentary males. Self-reported personal activity questionnaires were used to categorize physically active and sedentary individuals through estimated VO2 max from a population sample of 20. A 7-day diet diary was then completed by participants and analysed. A total of 18 diet diaries were completed, obtained and analysed. The key findings show that there was higher energy intake (Kcal) of the physically active participants (3126.8 ± 777.3) when compared to sedentary participants (1914.5 ± 439.9) (p=0.05). Active participants were also found to consume a more energy dense composition of macronutrients with a higher percentage of energy derived from CHO and fat (p= 0.05). Active participants consumed more fibre and had intakes of several micronutrients (p=0.05). There is conflicting evidence suggesting higher nutritional intake is achieved through the higher intake of energy and volume of food rather than actually consuming a more nutritionally complete diet (Yan et al 2016). Findings from this study would support this hypothesis; however, this study can't fully conclude that the higher energy intake is responsible for active individuals achieving higher levels of key nutrients as total energy expenditure was not measured in this study. Further study is needed in this area to determine accurately the estimation of physical activity and accounts for energy expenditure to truly determine whether the physically active actually consume higher intakes of energy after accounting for actual energy requirements. Keywords: Scotland, Physical activity, dietary intake, micronutrients, macronutrients, fibre, total energy expenditure.