Changes in Knowledge of the Female Athlete Triad Among Female High School Athletes Following a Brief Nutrition Education Intervention

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Chicago, IL

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After viewing this poster attendees will be able to determine the effects of a brief nutrition education intervention on knowledge of the Triad among female high school athletes. The Female Athlete Triad (Triad) is a disorder comprised of three conditions: low energy availability, menstrual irregularity, and decreased bone mineral density. Triad prevalence is high among high school athletes, though their knowledge of the disorder is low. This study aimed to determine whether viewing a nutrition education video including Registered Dietitians describing Triad etiology, progression, and prevention, as well as testimonies of former college athletes who experienced the Triad would change knowledge of the Triad among female high school athletes. Ninety-three female athletes (15.89 ± 1.2 years) from four Northern Idaho high schools consented to participate. Following randomization to the intervention or control group, all participants completed a pre-survey with ten Triad knowledge questions highlighting Triad risk factors and consequences. Each question was answered using a 5-point scale (“strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”). The intervention group (N = 46) then viewed the nutrition education video, while the control group (N = 44) played a nutrition game in another room. Immediately after, all participants completed a post-survey containing the same ten Triad knowledge questions. Correct responses received one point; each participant received a score out of ten. Results of Mann-Whitney U tests revealed that pre-survey Triad knowledge scores between groups were similar, though post-survey scores were significantly higher among the intervention group as compared to the control (mean rank 64.07 vs. 26.09 respectively; U = 158.00; p ˂ 0.001). The Triad video may be considered for use in high school athletic programs to increase Triad knowledge among female athletes.

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