• The Effect of a Single Nutrition Education Session on the Nutrition Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior of Female Adolescent Gymnasts.

      Salazar, Haley (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-05-01)
      Gymnastics is a complex sport that requires tremendous skill and places high physical demands on the body. This can be especially challenging for adolescent gymnasts, as they need their bodies to perform athletically as they are maturing and growing into adults. Although there is evidence of adequate nutrition supporting athletic ability and proper growth, many young athletes may lack the essential nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors needed to implement proper nutrition habits. This can be especially true for adolescent female gymnasts as they partake in demanding, rigorous, and specialized trainings beginning in the young stages of life. Gymnastics is also a sport that is judged on aesthetics, causing this population to be at high risk for disordered eating patterns. It is important to assess what these young athletes know about nutrition, how they perceive it, and if they act on it. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single nutrition education session on the nutrition knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of female adolescent gymnasts. Participants were asked to complete a survey measuring nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors immediately prior to a nutrition education session. Immediately after the nutrition education was provided, the same survey was repeated. At a one month follow up, the gymnasts were asked to complete the same survey for the final time. The results of the Friedman test indicated that there was a statistically significant improvement in the participants’ nutrition knowledge across the three measurement points (baseline, immediately after education, final survey, x2 (2.40, n=5) = 8.44, p < 0.005). The attitudes (p = 0.497) and behaviors (p = 0.790) of the participants were not significantly impacted by the nutrition education session. Evidence suggests that providing a single nutrition education session significantly improves the nutrition knowledge, along with retention of the gained knowledge at the one-month follow up, of female adolescent gymnasts.