Karabudak, E., & Kayali, F. (2009). The effect of nutrition education intervention on dietary intake and nutritional knowledge in adolescent athletes. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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This study evaluated the efficacy of a nutrition education intervention to improve nutrition knowledge, to build self-efficacy with respect to making healthful dietary choices, and improve dietary intake in adolescent male basketball players (N = 10; ages 10-12 years). Ss first completed the nutrition knowledge and nutrition attitude questionnaires to evaluate their nutrition status. The true-false nutrition knowledge test included 17 items related to total calories, macro and micro nutrients, and the intake of those components. Total nutrition knowledge scores were based on the sum of all the correct answers. The baseline data were necessary for the development of an intervention. A 3-day dietary record was also developed before and after the education to determine any changes in selection of pre-competition meals, types of fluids consumed prior to and during games, and general dietary habits. Nutrition education seminars were conducted by dietitians for two months and comprised a monthly 1-hour instructional session. At post-education, athletes completed the same questionnaires.

The total pre-education score was slightly below an average score of 12.9 out of a maximum possible 17. The total possible score for nutrition attitude was 56. The mean pre-education score on nutrition attitude was 46.9. After nutrition education, Ss experienced a significant increase in nutrition knowledge and nutrition attitude. Pre-and post education comparisons of the athletes indicated that except for monounsaturated fatty acids, sodium, and bread, there was no significant improvement in dietary intake and food choices due to the limited duration of the education. After nutrition education, the amount of fluid intake was significantly increased by 13.6%.

Implication. Adolescent athletes in the present study demonstrated an increased level of knowledge and attitude after nutrition education. That knowledge did not translate into better nutrition habits.

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