Does a relationship exist between level of nutritional knowledge and dietary intake application amongst football players?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study aimed to establish whether a relationship between male football players’ knowledge and their dietary intakes over a three-day period existed in comparison with nutrition guidelines. Accompanying this was the purpose of identifying whether a relationship in how the athletes’ rated their perceived level of knowledge to be and total knowledge scores along with actual dietary intake practices existed. Eighteen adult male football players volunteered to participate in this study, all of whom competed for teams within Welsh League Division One (2012-2013 season). Each participant completed a nutritional knowledge questionnaire and a three-day food diary. A spearman’s correlation test was conducted to identify the significance of the relationship between total knowledge score and perceived knowledge score; also between total knowledge score and actual nutritional intake scores. Ttests were also performed to highlight the significance of difference between nutritional intake and the recommended guidelines. The whole group (n=18) scores were also compared with a high knowledge score group (n=10) and low knowledge score group (n=8). The mean score on nutritional knowledge test was 42.89/66 (64.98% correct) and the mean total caloric intake of the participants was 2604.22 ± 366.88 calories per day. Overall, this study revealed a significant relationship did exist between total knowledge score and dietary intake application amongst the athletes (p<0.05). Statistical analysis reveals a strong correlation between total knowledge score and actual intake practices for the group as a whole (r=.543, p<0.05). Finally, the analysis revealed there was no significant relationship level of perceived knowledge and actual intake practices (p>0.05). However, there is a significant correlation between total knowledge score and the athletes perceived knowledge level (p<0.05). This study suggests there are areas for improvement for both knowledge and dietary intake practices as the athletes often failed to report intakes close to the recommended guidelines and many questionnaire answers selected were often incorrect.
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