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N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2009 Aug;4(3):139-48.

Nutritional knowledge and eating behaviors of female, collegiate swimmers.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Female athletes often have inadequate diets due to lack of nutritional knowledge and nutritional misconceptions. Poor nutrition may lead to an increased chance of developing the Female Athlete Triad, a trio of low energy availability, menstrual dysfunction, and low bone mass. Physical therapists, as part of a healthcare team, must be prepared to address nutritional issues, recognize signs and symptoms of the female athlete triad, and make the appropriate intervention or referral.

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study was to determine the nutritional knowledge of female collegiate swimmers and how effectively they apply their nutritional knowledge to their everyday eating habits.

METHODS:

Eighty-five female collegiate swimmers from six Michigan universities completed a nutritional knowledge questionnaire and a 24-hour food recall survey. Demographic, nutritional, and statistical data were analyzed.

RESULTS:

The mean score on nutritional knowledge test was 54.53/76 (71.75% correct). Mean total caloric intake of swimmers was 3229.10 calories per day. Ninety-five point nine percent did not meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for all three macronutrients. No difference in total mean survey score existed between the three collegiate divisions.

CONCLUSION:

This study suggests that athletes lack knowledge of nutrition, healthy food choices, components of a well-balanced diet, and the implications of nutrition on performance.

PMID:
21509109
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2953338
Free PMC Article

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