Sports-specialized newspapers are one of the print media with the highest number of readers in Spain. However, little is known about the health coverage in this type of print press. The aim of the study was to analyze any health-related material in sports newspaper coverage and describe the main characteristics. This is an observational and cross-sectional study, performed in relation to the three most read daily Spanish sports newspapers (MARCA, AS, SPORT). A descriptive analysis was conducted to assess the health-related materials selected after a careful search over a period of 30 days. During this time, a total of 815 units of analysis were identified. On average, 14.79% (n = 645 pages) of the full content (n = 4362) included health-related material. The Liga BBVA section was the most frequent to contain health-related content by a significant margin (p = 0.01). The main covered topics were injuries to soccer players (52%), doping (21%), and other diseases in athletes or their relatives (8.6%) with no significant differences (p = 0.10). Photographs (87.4%) were the most frequent visual material used in the health content, followed by infographics (12.6%). Press releases were the most frequent source of information (58%). Spanish sports newspapers include a high proportion of health-related material, especially in terms of providing detailed descriptions of athletes' sport injuries, mainly related to soccer.
health communication; newspapers; physical activity; public health; Spain; sports