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PLoS One. 2016 Aug 16;11(8):e0161252. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161252. eCollection 2016.

Patterns of Nutrition and Dietary Supplements Use in Young Egyptian Athletes: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Survey.

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National Nutrition Institute, Ministry of Health, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


The aim of this study was to investigate the pattern of basic and sport nutrition as well as perspectives of young Egyptian athletes. Structured interview survey measuring knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors about basic and sport nutrition was administered to adolescent athletes recruited from 4 sport clubs and 2 fitness centers in Greater Cairo governorate. A total of 358 participants aged 13-18 years completed questionnaires. Basic nutrition knowledge was reasonable in almost all domains except fast food. Fixed breakfast (78.5%), home meals (lunch, 70.7%), and healthy snacks (55.8%) were the most positive features of the basic dietary pattern. More than 70% perceived themselves as knowledgeable about sport nutrition. The prevalence rate of sport supplement intake was (48.9%, n = 175), predominantly sport drinks (66.9%) and creatine (54.3%). Coaches were the primary source of sport nutrition information. Forty-four percent of participants (n = 77/175) reported supplement consumption during competition seasons only. Better physical appearance and enhancement of athletic performance were the major motivations for supplement intake. These findings indicate the necessity of a comprehensive nutrition education program targeting not only athletes and parents, but also coaching staff, health trainers and all sport team officials.

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