Physical activity and diet are important contributors to overall health and development in adolescents. There remains, however, limited research on the combined association of sports participation and dietary pattern on motor competence, which is crucial for an active lifestyle during and beyond adolescence. The present study, therefore, examined the association between sports participation, dietary pattern, and motor competence in 165 middle school students (55% male) between 11 and 14 years of age. Body weight and height were measured, and motor competence was determined via the German motor test during regular Physical Education (PE). Further, participants completed a food frequency questionnaire and reported their engagement in club sports. Of the total sample 20% were overweight/obese and 49% reported participation in club sports, with no differences between boys and girls. Interaction effects of sports participation and dietary pattern on motor competence were limited, but sports participation and healthy diet were independently associated with higher motor performance. Healthy dietary choices, along with participation in club sports, therefore, should be promoted in adolescents in order to facilitate motor development. As adolescence is a crucial time for the establishment of lifelong behaviors, such efforts could facilitate a healthy lifestyle throughout adulthood.
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