The effects of a 5-month intervention of football instruction and practice on the perceived psychological status and body composition of overweight boys were examined. Twelve boys (8-12 years; body mass index ≥ 85th percentile) participated in a structured 5-month football program, consisting of four weekly 60-90 min sessions with mean heart rate > 80%HRmax [football group (FG)]. A control group (CG) included eight boys of equivalent age from an obesity clinic located in the same area as the school. Both groups participated in two sessions of 45-90-min physical education per week at school. Indicators of perceived psychological status included body image, self-esteem, attraction to participation in physical activity, and perceived physical competence measured with standardized questionnaires. Body composition was evaluated using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. From baseline through 5 months, FG improved (P < 0.05) in all indicators of psychological status (%Δ = +11.7 to +29.2%) compared with CG (%Δ = -32.1 to +0.5%). Changes in percentage body fat and lean body mass, however, did not differ between FG and CG. The findings suggest that a 5-month football intervention program was effective in improving the psychological status of overweight boys but did not significantly alter body composition.
Keywords: Body image; attraction to physical activity; body mass index; perceived competence; percentage of fat; self-esteem; soccer.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.