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Original Research

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Relationship between eating behaviors and muscle strength among Chinese male adolescents

  • Tongling Wang1,2,†
  • Cuiqing Zhao3,†
  • Yijuan Lu2,*,
  • Dawei Yu2,*,
  • Qiang Zhan4
  • Wang Li4,*,

1Postdoctoral Mobile Station of Management Science & Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 210016 Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

2Institute of Physical Education, Huzhou University, 313000 Huzhou, Zhejiang, China

3Division of Physical Education, Myongji University, 120728 Seoul, Republic of Korea

4Department of Physical Education, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, 223003 Huai’an, Jiangsu, China

DOI: 10.22514/jomh.2023.128 Vol.19,Issue 12,December 2023 pp.44-50

Submitted: 10 April 2023 Accepted: 31 May 2023

Published: 30 December 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Yijuan Lu E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Dawei Yu E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Wang Li E-mail:

† These authors contributed equally.


The impact of eating behaviors on physical fitness and overall health is widely recognized. However, the specific effect of late-night eating on physical fitness and the relationship between unhealthy eating habits and muscle strength in adolescents have not been explored yet. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between eating behaviors and muscle strength among Chinese male adolescents. The eating habits of 1916 high school students (mean age = 16.7 ± 0.8) were assessed by a questionnaire comprising items related to the consumption of breakfast and frequency of late-night food intake. Muscle strength was measured by grip strength (upper body strength) and standing long jump (lower body strength) tests. To discern the relationship between eating behaviors and muscle strength, a covariance analysis (ANCOV) was performed by making adjustments for potential confounding variables. The final adjusted model suggested a significant relationship between grip strength and the frequency of breakfast consumption (a higher frequency was related with better grip strength; p < 0.001) and late-night eating (a lower frequency was linked with better grip strength; p = 0.002). Few unhealthy eating behaviors were associated with better grip strength and standing long jump performance (p < 0.001 and p = 0.026, respectively). These findings suggest that consumption of breakfast, reduction of the late-night eating, and decreased unhealthy eating habits may improve muscle strength and function in male adolescents.


Breakfast; Late-night eating; Grip strength; Adolescents; Cross-sectional study

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Tongling Wang,Cuiqing Zhao,Yijuan Lu,Dawei Yu,Qiang Zhan,Wang Li. Relationship between eating behaviors and muscle strength among Chinese male adolescents. Journal of Men's Health. 2023. 19(12);44-50.


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