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Seed Grant Awardee: Kaila Ann Vento

A Lack of Proper Nutrition Could Lead to Insecurity of Health, Impair Training, and Diminish Optimal Performance and Well-Being

Kaila Ann Vento | School of Nutrition and Health Promotion

Athletes competing at the collegiate level report a lesser quality of life compared to non-athletes. A deficiency in nutritious foods contributes to poor physiological health, however more information is needed about overall quality of life in relation to nutrition. Ample amounts of literature have examined nutrition knowledge and dietary intake of athletes, yet have failed to include a diverse athletic population. A study has found Caucasian athletes’ nutritional knowledge to be significantly greater than non-white athletes, and while differences in dietary intake between sex and sports have been examined, racial differences have not been compared. Impaired financial situations may also contribute to an inadequate diet. Athletes have stated financial situations are a barrier in purchasing (high quality) foods, leading to poor dietary intake and health. While differences exist in the amount of support the three athletic divisions provides, direct athlete finances towards nutrition is lacking.

The primary aim of this study is to test whether 1) nutrition knowledge, health and dietary intake differs among female athletes from different races at various competition levels while the secondary aims of this study are to 1) determine if financial status and nutrition resources impacts dietary intake and 2) identify differences in financial support in relation to race. This study will involve female athletes participating in intercollegiate athletics and club sports from participating universities and community colleges in the Phoenix area. Volunteers will be asked to provide blood health indicators and body composition, which will be compared with results of self-reported dietary intake, sport nutrition knowledge, and quality of life measures. Physical measurements will be conducted by the ASU Athleat Field Lab at designated locations near the athletes’ training facilities and the questionnaires can be taken at any location convenient for the student-athlete including the locations listed above.

Last updated June 2019.