The impact a 4-week technology based nutrition intervention program has on the eating habits of collegiate female dancers
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The purpose of the present study was to determine how a technology based 4-week nutrition education intervention impacted the eating habits of collegiate female dancers as well as analyze the participant’s knowledge about basic nutrition information. Objectives of this nutrition intervention were to increase basic sport nutrition knowledge and promote a healthier nutritional lifestyle for these collegiate age participants. Students on Texas State Universities “Strutters” dance team age 18-22 years old were recruited for this study. A 4-week intervention consisting of 10 nutritional fact sheets were sent via e-mail to the 32 participants. Assessment of the participant’s nutritional knowledge consisted of a 20-question nutrition knowledge questionnaire, dietary intake using a 3-day food record before and after the nutrition intervention, and measurement of energy expenditure wearing an accelerometer to record activity energy expenditure during the same time frame of the food records. The participants were then placed into 2 groups based on their questionnaire scores to analyze how the nutrition intervention impacted knowledge groups separately: unsatisfactory knowledge group (scored below 50%) and satisfactory knowledge group (scored above 50%). The intervention program was ineffective in positively changing energy intake (p = .364; t-value = .921; df = 31) of the participants pre- to post-intervention. Energy expenditure pre- to post-intervention was statistically significant with p = .007 (t-value= 2.902; df = 31). Statistical analysis of the differences of pre-expenditure/intake and post-expenditure/ intake demonstrate no statistical significance (p=.412; t=.832; df=31). Analyses showed a statistical difference between post- intervention energy intake to recommended energy intake (p < .001; t-value = -9.597; df = 31). No statistical significance between knowledge groups and energy intake or expenditure was seen (energy intake: p-value = .524; F = .416; df = 31; energy expenditure: (p-value=.814; F=.056, df = 31). The questionnaire results showed a lack of nutrition knowledge. To improve overall nutrition performance and knowledge, a nutrition education intervention that is engaging and effective should be implemented into the training programs of collegiate female dancers to improve confidence levels and eating habits.