Research: research and professional brief| Volume 104, ISSUE 2, P246-249, February 2004

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Intercollegiate student athlete use of nutritional supplements and the role of athletic trainers and dietitians in nutrition counseling


      A survey of university student athletes was conducted to determine supplement use, perceived efficacy of supplements, availability and use of nutrition services, and perceived nutrition knowledge of athletic trainers. Results from 236 athletes showed that 88% used one or more nutritional supplements, yet perceived efficacy was moderate (2.9 or less; 5-point scale). Classes (69.4%), brochures (75%), and individual counseling (47%) were available and were used by 29.9%, 33.2%, and 17.9% of athletes, respectively. Primary sources of nutrition information were athletic trainers (39.8%), strength and conditioning coaches (23.7%), and dietitians (14.4%). Athletes perceived athletic trainers to have strong nutrition knowledge (mean=3.8±0.9; 5-point scale). Many (23.5%) did not know whether a dietitian was available. Dietitians must accelerate their marketing efforts to student athletes, work closely with athletic trainers to provide sound nutrition information, and provide services that meet the needs of a diverse population of student athletes.
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      R. D. Burns is head athletic trainer, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA, USA, and at the time of study was a graduate student at the School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH


      M. R. Schiller is a professor in the Medical Dietetics Division


      M. A. Merrick is an assistant professor in the Athletic Training Division and K. N. Wolf is an associate professor in the Medical Dietetics Division, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.