J Athl Train. 2007 Jan-Mar;42(1):99-105.
Nutritional knowledge and attitudes in athletes with physical disabilities.
Rastmanesh R, Taleban FA, Kimiagar M, Mehrabi Y, Salehi M.
Little is known about sport nutritional problems and requirements of athletes with physical disabilities.
To compare the nutritional knowledge and attitudes of Iranian athletes with physical disabilities (APDs) after nutrition education. Because proper nutrition is important for both performance and injury healing, learning about the nutritional areas in which APDs are deficient may assist professionals in educating them.
Nested case-control study.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:
Seventy-two APDs (42 APDs in the intervention group and 30 age-matched and sex-matched control APDs) and 10 coaches completed the study.
The APDs in the intervention group and their coaches were given nutrition education, which included a booklet with a simplified food guide pyramid, simple concepts about nutrition and weight loss, and four 3-hour courses. The APDs in the control group and their coaches were not given nutrition education.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):
Subjects completed 2 nutritional questionnaires with both quantitative and qualitative components. Nutritional questionnaires were administered at 2 consecutive camps, 30 days apart, before and after nutrition education. Our questionnaires included a demographics section; 88 Likert scale and true-false questions; and 18 open-ended questions, 13 of which were specifically designed for APDs. Each APD completed two 3-day food records.
The APDs in the intervention group scored significantly higher after nutrition education and higher than the control group on the knowledge subscales and interest in nutrition. Although the nutrition knowledge score in this study was moderate, several specific areas of deficient nutritional knowledge were identified that are critical for the health of APDs. Our model of nutrition education was more effective than the usual instructions presented irregularly by coaches.
Our findings suggest that Iranian APDs lack nutritional knowledge in areas critical to preventing nutrition-related health problems, especially components related to nutrition for athletes with disabilities.