Goal Setting and Parental Participation in a Piloted High School Football Sports Nutrition Education Program Original Research

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Haley Stewart
Amber Marks
Rebecca Gonter-Dray
Diana Cuy Castellanos


WAVE Sports Nutrition, Parental Involvement, Adolescent Athletes


Introduction: There is a lack of research on how parental involvement in an adolescent athlete’s sports nutrition program can impact an athlete’s adherence to nutrition related goals. Thus, this investigation aimed to examine the difference in the high school football athlete’s adherence to self-identified dietary goals in relation to parental involvement in the program.

Methods:  A total of 25 high school football athletes and 25 parents participated in a six week-long WAVE sports nutrition education program. 64% of participants (athletes & parents) completed the 12-week post follow up (n=32). Athletes and parents completed sports nutrition knowledge questionnaires and food frequency questionnaires. Additionally, parents completed self-efficacy questionnaires to rank their confidence in preparing healthy meals and cooking.

Results: There were significant changes in parents' sports nutrition knowledge scores from initial to the 12-week follow up (p<0.001) The parents’ self-efficacy around choosing and preparing healthy food options also increased from initial to the 12-week follow up (p=0.004). No significant difference was found between parent’s attendance and the athlete’s adherence to long-term goals.

Conclusions: The increase in parent's overall sports nutrition knowledge and self-efficacy around preparing and cooking healthy foods did not significantly affect athlete’s adherence to their self-identified goals.

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