Online Weekly Educational Newsletters Improve High-School Athlete’s General and Sports-Related Nutrition Knowledge to Prevent a Risk of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport
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AbstractObjectives: To assess the effectiveness of educational nutrition newsletters on nutrition knowledge in high school athletes, designed to reduce the risk of relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) through improved dietary habits. Design: Quasi-experimental. Methods: General nutrition knowledge, sports nutrition knowledge and eating habits and patterns in high school athletes were compared using pre- and post- surveys. Athletes’ nutrition related knowledge was evaluated by comparing final grades of the surveys. Athletes’ eating habits and patterns were evaluated by comparing specific survey questions. The intervention was developed utilizing the social cognitive theory. Setting: New York (online/remote). Participants: 6 high-school athletes scored on the pre- and post-surveys and received the weekly newsletters. 4 athletes were female, and 2 athletes were males. Intervention: A series of 4 weekly newsletters were emailed to participants at the start of each week. Topics of the newsletters pertained to RED-S and included an overview of RED-S, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin D/calcium. Intervention: A series of 4 weekly newsletters were emailed to participants. Topics pertained to RED-S and included an overview of RED-S, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin D/calcium. Results: Weekly newsletters significantly increased high school athletes’ knowledge pertaining to RED-S, general nutrition, and sports related nutrition (p < 0.05). 33% of participants showed an improvement in dietary habits and behaviors. The weekly newsletters had no significant effect on improving eating habits or eating patterns (p > 0.05). Conclusions and Implications: Online weekly educational newsletters utilizing the social cognitive theory is an effective mass media teaching technique to significantly improve high school athletes’ general and sports nutrition knowledge. Further research is needed on interventions to improve dietary habits.
CitationShannon, Caroline, Theresa DeLorenzo and Emily Riddle. (2022).Online Weekly Educational Newsletters Improve High-School Athlete's General and Sports-Related Nutrition Knowledge to Prevent a Risk of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport. Project for completion of MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. SUNY Oneonta.
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