As Valentine's Day Nears, the International Youth Conditioning Association Warns of the Dangers of Sugar Intake for Youth Fitness

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Consumption of sugar increases during Valentine's Day, raising concerns about youth fitness.

youth fitness

International Youth Conditioning Association

While holidays ought to be fun, it is important to take this time to remind parents that high sugar intake negatively impacts youth fitness.

The International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA) is taking the holiday season to caution about high sugar intake and its risks for kids' fitness.

“We tend to give kids a lot of candy on holidays, no matter what the holiday celebrates,” says Pat Rigsby, co-owner of the IYCA. “While holidays ought to be fun, it is important to take this time to remind parents that high sugar intake negatively impacts youth fitness.”

Indeed, childhood obesity has been a rising concern in recent years. No less a source than the First Lady has taken up the fight to get kids more physically active. While reduced activity levels contribute to poor youth fitness, many fitness professionals blame sugar rich diets.

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism has blamed the “substantial increase in daily [caloric] intake” on the high availability of calorie rich foods of little nutritional value. Many of these calories come from extra sugar added for taste.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American consumes 165 pounds of added sugar each year. Pat Rigsby notes, “Promoting youth fitness means understanding that Valentine's Day candy isn't the only thing hurting your kids. More and more common foods are being packed with unnecessary sugar.”

The IYCA is dedicated to young athlete development. “All kids – not just young athletes – benefit from sound nutrition,” Rigsby says. “Our kids keep these healthy eating habits as they grow into healthy and productive adults.”

The IYCA focuses its efforts on improving the knowledge and skill of coaches, trainers, and parents of young athletes. While the IYCA provides nutrition and coaching tips to coaches, it also seeks to go beyond performance training for its grade school to high school athletes.

So should parents worry about what kind of treats their kids eat on Valentine's Day? As Rigsby notes, “We want kids to have fun on Valentine's Day. We just want to stress to parents that high sugar diets aren't the most fun thing out there. A lifetime of fitness can be fun too.”

While some Valentine's Day candy is certainly not a big deal in itself, just remember that youth fitness doesn't start on the playing field, it starts in the kitchen.

About Pat Rigsby: Pat Rigsby is the co-owner of Fitness Consulting Group, a leading business development consulting firm within the fitness industry. Fitness Consulting Group is the parent company of the IYCA and a number of other companies.

The IYCA is part of the Fitness Consulting Group family of companies. It is the world’s leading authority in the fields of youth fitness, youth conditioning, and youth athletic development. To learn more about the organization, visit

To learn more about the IYCA, visit


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