Assessment of the diet quality of team sports athletes

Luana Pilon Jürgensen, Natália Vilela Silva Daniel, Ricardo da Costa Padovani, Lara Cristina D’Avila Lourenço, Claudia Ridel Juzwiak


Few studies about food consumption of athletes have assessed the quality of their food choices, and the factors that influence these choices. The aim of this study was to assess the diet of team sports athletes through a revised version of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-R) in order to identify their nutritional knowledge and the stage of intention to change eating behavior (SICEB) and to identify possible association with demographic and anthropometric variables. Seventy-two athletes (35 men) were evaluated for the following variables: body mass, height, Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat percentage (BF%), nutritional knowledge (questionnaire), food intake (24-hour recall), diet quality (HEI-R) and SICEB (transtheoretical model). For statistical analysis, the Student t test and the Pearson correlation coefficient were used. None of the athletes presented diet classified as “healthy” and 45.7% (men) and 51.4% (women) had “inadequate” diets. Low consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and dairy products was observed. The HEI-R “meats, legumes and eggs” component received the best scores. Pre-contemplation (25.0%) and action (23.6%) stages were the most frequent in the group. The mean percentage of correct answers in the nutritional knowledge questionnaire was 55.7% (men) and 57.3% (women). No association was found between HEI-R and variables age, BMI, BF%, SICEB, nutritional knowledge score and energy intake. This group presents inadequate dietary intake. The lack of association between study variables indicates the need to investigate other factors that influence athlete’s feeding behavior.


Athletes; Cross-sectional studies; Feeding; Feeding behavior

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The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.