An assessment of the relationship among nutrition knowledge, attitudes and dietary practices of competitive swimmers in Winnipeg
MacFadyen, Karen Lee
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In October, 1976, a study was conducted to assess the relationships among nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices of 101 top level competitive swimmers in Winnipeg. Research instruments included a three-day food record and a group-administered questionnaire. Twenty-two multiple choice questions were used to assess nutrition knowledge and determine a fad score for each respondent. To assess nutrition attitudes, responses to twenty-one statements were arranged on a five point continumn ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." Two different measures were used to evaluate dietary practices. An indication of dietary habits during training and before a competition was obtained by responses to six open-ended questions on the questionnaire. A more detailed assessment of dietary practices was obtained from a three-day food record kept by each respondent. Most of the data were statistically analyzed by computer, all tests being conducted at the 5 percent level of significance. Responses to the questions on dietary practices during training and before a competition were tabulated by the author. In general, respondents had a low level of nutrition knowledge; however, certain fad beliefs, considered common to athletes, were not prevalent. Some poor nutrition attitudes were evident. Dietary practices were modified more in preparation for an event than during training. Dietary practices assessed by three-day food records showed generally high intakes of energy and most nutrients. Little relationship was observed between nutrition knowledge and dietary practices. Some significant relationships were observed between nutrition knowledge and nutrition attitudes. The greatest number of significant relationships were observed between nutrition attitudes and dietary practices. Neither age nor sex were significantly related to measures of knowledge, attitudes or practices.