Nutrition Knowledge among Adolescent High School Female Athletes

By Chapman, Patricia; Toma, Ramses B. et al. | Adolescence, Summer 1997 | Go to article overview

Nutrition Knowledge among Adolescent High School Female Athletes

Chapman, Patricia, Toma, Ramses B., Tuveson, Richard V., Jacob, Mary, Adolescence


North Americans have become more physically active and are participating in exercise and diet programs for health, recreation, and well-being purposes. It has become important to clarify and quantify the specific elements which lead to health and fitness.

According to the Position Papers of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the Canadian Dietetic Association (CDA), "the importance of diet and healthful food choices in optimizing health status, fitness levels, and athletic performance has been recognized by both participants and professionals" (1987, p. 934; 1993, p. 693). They further state that adolescent athletes require accurate information establishing safe weight and body composition goals. Another important factor addressed by the ADA position papers was that the diets of some adolescent athletes, particularly females, are poor in providing energy and nutrients. Since adolescents' nutrition requirements are high due to growth and development factors, involvement in competitive sports increases the importance of nutrition.

Potter and Wood (1991) stated that athletes' desire for accurate and practical nutrition information represents an increasing challenge and responsibility for dietitians, teachers, and coaches. Further, they note that more instructional materials need to be developed. There is, however, a lack of research focused on developing the most effective ways to educate athletes about sports nutrition.

Warren, Bonner, and Stitt (1985) indicated that coaches were in need of additional information regarding fluids, food supplements, and methods for gaining or losing weight. In addition, they stated that nutrition information should be developed and presented in a scientific format for implementation by coaches. Other studies have focused on the nutrition knowledge and practices of high school athletes. Douglas and Douglas (1984) found that athletes had limited knowledge of nutrition and that females did not use their knowledge in making proper food choices.

Contento, Manning, and Shannon (1992) stated that "nutrition education generally had a positive effect on cognitive outcomes such as nutrition knowledge, diet-related skills, behavioral expectations, and self-efficacy" (p. 247). However, according to Potter and Wood (1991), Contento et al. (1992), and Schlicker, Borra, and Regan (1994), even though gains in knowledge represent a step forward in nutrition education, these programs tended to have little effect on behavior.

Werblow, Fox, and Henneman (1978) conducted a study with female athletes and concluded that nutrition education programs must provide information that is relevant to the individuals involved. The study had two key variables: weight control and sports performance. They suggested that interest in sports nutrition by female athletes may be the vehicle for an effective approach to general nutrition education.

Past studies of nutrition knowledge and practices with teenage athletes have invariably discussed the motivational factors required to enhance the learning and application of sound nutrition principles. Two motivating factors that have been identified in several studies are weight control and level of performance. These studies also emphasize the need for nutrition education as an essential component of the training program for female athletes.

Adolescent females tend to have nutritionally inadequate diets and thus they may be at great risk when taxing their bodies in rigorous training schedules. Athletes as a group are very vulnerable to erroneous nutrition information as they attempt to gain a competitive edge (Pratt & Walberg, 1988).

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an original sports nutrition education program in improving nutrition knowledge of high school varsity football players in Southern California.



A total of 72 females ranging in age from 14 to 18 years (74% of whom never took a high school course which included a nutrition component) from eight high school varsity softball teams participated in a 6-week study. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Nutrition Knowledge among Adolescent High School Female Athletes


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.