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Medicina dello Sport 2021 March;74(1):56-65

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.21.03811-4

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Knowledge, attitudes and practices on diet and nutrition in a group of national-level athletes in the developing world

Hasanga RATHNAYAKE 1, Chandima M. WICKRAMATILAKE 1 , Dhammika W. SENANAYAKE 2

1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka; 2 Institute of Sports Medicine, Ministry of Sports, Colombo, Sri Lanka


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BACKGROUND: Good nutrition of an athlete is important in achieving high levels of performances. Hence, their knowledge is imperative on the healthy diet and nutrition. Therefore, regular educational programs are mandatory. The awareness on baseline information is important to plan a focused educational program. Therefore, our objective was to describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices on diet and nutrition of national-level athletes before participating an educational program.
METHODS: A secondary data set collected using an anonymous questionnaire (self-administered), designed to test the important aspects of knowledge, attitudes and practices on diet and nutrition among national-level athletes before an educational program on nutrition were analysed using appropriate statistical tests.
RESULTS: Survey included 156 participants with 49% males. Mean age was 26±6 years. Among them 42% had participated for educational programs on nutrition previously, 48% had visited a dietician or a nutritionist, 94% believed that proper nutrition is important for good performances, 54% were aware of the presence of Food Based Dietary Guidelines for Sri Lankans and 51% indicated the influence/guidance from coaches on food choices. The consumption of supplements and sports drinks were reported as 8% and 10% respectively. There were 23 % participants below the average of 7.5 knowledge score formulated based on 15 questions (total score: 15).
CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge on important areas of diet and nutrition is low among national-level athletes. Regular formal awareness program on healthy diet and appropriate nutrition is necessary for both athletes and coaches.


KEY WORDS: Athletes; Attitude; Diet; Knowledge

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