Sports Dietitians and Training Tables: Do Division 1 Football Players Expect a Benefit and Are They Willing to Pay?

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

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


Atlanta, GA

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Learners will be able to describe the athletes' perceptions of the benefit of having a dietitian and/or a training table and determine whether or not they are willing to have part of their stipend be used for this purpose. The purpose of this research was to assess the nutritional needs of, and attitudes towards, expanding the provision of nutrition services to a Division 1 football team that does not have a sports dietitian or a training table. Seventy-six (90% response rate) football players completed a 26-item questionnaire. Sixty-eight percent reported trying to change their weight. In addition, the majority reported not consuming pre-workout/game snacks (88% and 92%, respectively). Eighty percent of athletes reported consuming only water during a workout and 75% reported a lack of energy during a workout. Most (93.4%) believed they would benefit from a training table; however, only 42% were willing to have funds reallocated from their stipends to finance it. Results from Chi-Squared tests revealed no significant differences in the number of athletes willing to use their stipends for a training table versus those not willing based on grade (p=0.957), position (p=0.54), or residence (on campus vs. off-campus) (p=0.982). Most (97%) athletes believed proper nutrition would enhance their performance, and 91% were willing to meet with a dietitian. These findings suggest that the football athletes have nutritional needs and believe they would benefit from expanded provision of nutrition services. More research is needed to determine feasibility and sustainability in funding to support a sports dietitian and/or training table.

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