Assessing the Nutrition Knowledge of Young Athletes: Development of an Evidence-Based Questionnaire
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn the midst of the American overweight and obesity crisis, statistics describing Adolescents' dietary habits, physical activity levels, and organized sport participation suggest that young athletes have suboptimal nutritional knowledge and habits specific to their sports. The objective of this research was to develop an evidence-based questionnaire tool that could effectively address gaps in nutritional knowledge, thereby providing coaches and nutritionists with a starting point for developing an educational intervention program for young athletes. A review of the scientific literature revealed that common areas of concern for adolescent athletes included the intake of macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), calcium, iron, and fluid. Based on this evidence, a questionnaire was developed to gauge subjects' knowledge in these areas, as well as to provide insight into their attitudes and beliefs about sports nutrition. The implementation of this questionnaire is suggested in the context of a multifaceted nutrition intervention/education program that incorporates assessment of diet and physical activity (especially through technology-based methods), open discussion and learning activities, and one-on-one nutrition counseling to maximize the potential for individualization of the program. All components of this approach are evidence-based and highly customizable.
Degree ProgramHonors College