A Comparison Between an NAIA and an NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Teams' Nutrition Knowledge, Nutrition Knowledge Sources, and Dietary Habits (HWCC) Original Research

Main Article Content

Hannah Wilson
Charlotte Cervantes


Athletes, College, Females


Introduction: The nutritional needs of college athletes differ from their non-athlete counterparts. Sufficient consumption of nutrients among this population is dependent on a variety of factors, including nutrition knowledge and access to nutrition information resources. Financially, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools are at a disadvantage compared to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I schools. This may potentially give NCAA Division I athletes access to more reliable nutrition education sources, while placing NAIA college athletes at a nutritional disadvantage.

Methods:  This research study investigated the relationship(s) between female soccer players’ (n=16) nutrition knowledge sources, nutrition knowledge, and dietary habits. This study also assessed the differences in the nutrition knowledge and dietary habits of NCAA Division I athletes and NAIA athletes. Data was collected using an online survey.

Results: Descriptive statistics indicate that nutrition knowledge was poor among all study participants. Inferential analyses indicate that there is not a significant difference in nutrition knowledge scores using division as a grouping variable (p = 0.312). Similarly, there was not a significant difference in dietary quality scores using division as a grouping variable (p = 0.336)

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that collegiate female soccer players may lack nutrition knowledge, regardless of the division in which they participate.  Because of the importance of adequate nutrition in college athletes, this area would benefit from additional research.

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