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Food Choice Decisions of Athletes

Insights From Sports Dietitians

Eck, Kaitlyn M. MS, RD; Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol PhD, RD, FAND

doi: 10.1097/TIN.0000000000000178
Diet, Sports, and Adult Athletes

Unique pressures placed on athletes make them vulnerable to disordered eating behaviors. Interviews were conducted with sports registered dietitian/nutritionists' (RDNs) (n = 15) to explore factors influencing athletes' food choices, including RDN counseling strategies. RDNs noted that convenience, taste preference, and advice from RDNs influence athletes' food choices, which varied by sports type, with endurance athletes emphasizing carbohydrates and strength athletes emphasizing protein. RDNs highlighted the importance of individualizing advice when counseling for weight loss/gain and a multidisciplinary team approach when counseling athletes with eating disorders. Barriers faced while counseling included athletes' limited nutrition knowledge, nutrition misconceptions, and limited support from coaches.

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Correspondence: Kaitlyn M. Eck, MS, RD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, 26 Nichol Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (

This work was supported by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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