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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 935245, 7 pages
Research Article

Organized Sports, Overweight, and Physical Fitness in Primary School Children in Germany

1Division of Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine, Ulm University Medical Centre, 89075 Ulm, Germany
2Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
3Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometrics, Ulm University, 89075 Ulm, Germany
4Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology, Ulm University Medical Centre, 89075 Ulm, Germany

Received 11 October 2012; Accepted 11 February 2013

Academic Editor: Jana Pařízková

Copyright © 2013 Clemens Drenowatz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Physical inactivity is associated with poor physical fitness and increased body weight. This study examined the relationship between participation in organized sports and overweight as well as physical fitness in primary school children in southern Germany. Height, weight, and various components of physical fitness were measured in 995 children ( years). Sports participation and confounding variables such as migration background, parental education, parental body weight, and parental sports participation were assessed via parent questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression as well as multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to determine associations between physical fitness, participation in organized sports, and body weight. Participation in organized sports less than once a week was prevalent in 29.2%, once or twice in 60.2%, and more often in 10.6% of the children. Overweight was found in 12.4% of the children. Children participating in organized sports more than once per week displayed higher physical fitness and were less likely to be overweight (OR  =  0.52, ). Even though causality cannot be established, the facilitation of participation in organized sports may be a crucial aspect in public health efforts addressing the growing problems associated with overweight and obesity.