The Assessment of Nutrition Knowledge in ROTC Cadets

Main Article Content

Lara Boyum
Corbit Franks
Samantha Kostelnik
Thomas Andre
Melinda Valliant
Hyun-Woo Joung


Army, Abridged Nutrition for Sport Knowledge Questionnaire , registered dietitian nutritionist


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to measure the nutrition knowledge of Army ROTC cadets before and after the implementation of nutrition education sessions presented by a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), while observing the effectiveness of nutrition intervention on this population.
Methods: Army ROTC cadets (n=33; 19+1 years old) from a southeastern university participated in a 9-week study in which they completed a nutrition knowledge survey pre- and post- implementation of six nutrition education sessions. General nutrition knowledge (GNK) and sports nutrition knowledge (SNK) were measured via the Abridged Nutrition for Sport Knowledge Questionnaire (ANSKQ).
Results: General, sports, and total nutrition knowledge (TNK) improved significantly between pre-survey and post-survey scores (p < .001; p < .01; p < .001, respectively). Independent samples t-test showed large t-score values (GNK t = -3.559; SNK t = -2.794; TNK t = -3.776), indicating a strong difference between the three groups. Army ROTC cadet ANSKQ scores significantly improved GNK from adequate to good, SNK from poor to adequate, and TNK from poor to adequate.
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate nutrition knowledge is poor in ROTC cadets, but may improve from nutrition education interventions presented by an RDN.

Abstract 164 | PDF Downloads 81


1. Leadership Innovation in the Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Future of the Force Improving Fighter Management. Army University Press. Accessed February 18, 2023.
2. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Committee on Body Composition Nutrition, and Health of Military Women. Assessing readiness in military women: the relationship of body, composition, nutrition, and health. National Academies Press. 1998.
3. Wise SR, Trigg SD. Optimizing health, wellness, and performance of the tactical athlete. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2020;19(2):70-75. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000684
4. Smith A, Emerson D, Winkelmann Z, Potter D, Torres-McGehee T. Prevalence of eating disorder risk and body image dissatisfaction among ROTC cadets. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(21):8137. doi:10.3390/ijerph17218137
5. Moorhead-Hill KM. Nutrition knowledge, motivation for healthy eating, and diet quality in Army ROTC cadets at two midwestern universities. M.S. Michigan State University. Accessed October 12, 2022.
6. Connell SA, Torres-McGehee TM, Emerson DM, Jenson M, Ferland L. Examination of sports nutrition knowledge and prevalence of disordered eating among ROTC cadets. J Athl Train. 2017;52(6):S40.
7. Daniels E, Hanson J. Energy-adjusted dietary intakes are associated with perceived barriers to healthy eating but not food insecurity or sports nutrition knowledge in a pilot study of ROTC cadets. Nutrients. 2021;13(9):3053. doi:10.3390/nu13093053
8. James D, Wilson J. Weight loss strategies used by Army ROTC cadets. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2018;118(9):A82. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2018.06.083
9. Absolute and relative morbidity burdens attributable to various illnesses and injuries, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2018. Military Health System. Published May 1, 2019. Accessed January 26, 2023.
10. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. Ambulatory visits, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2017. MSMR. 2018;25(5):17-23.
11. Radzak KN, Sefton JM, Timmons MK, Lopp R, Stickley CD, Lam KC. Musculoskeletal injury in reserve officers’ training corps: a report from the athletic training practice-based research network. Orthop J Sports Med. 2020;8(9):2325967120948951. doi:10.1177/2325967120948951
12. Scott SA, Simon JE, Van Der Pol B, Docherty CL. Risk factors for sustaining a lower extremity injury in an Army reserve officer training corps cadet population. Mil Med. 2015;180(8):910-916. doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00618
13. Fogelholm M, Anderssen S, Gunnarsdottir I, Lahti-Koski M. Dietary macronutrients and food consumption as determinants of long-term weight change in adult populations: a systematic literature review. Food Nutr Res. 2012;56:10.3402/fnr.v56i0.19103. doi:10.3402/fnr.v56i0.19103
14. Drenowatz C, Shook RP, Hand GA, Hébert JR, Blair SN. The independent association between diet quality and body composition. Sci Rep. 2014;4(1):4928. doi:10.1038/srep04928
15. Newby P, Muller D, Hallfrisch J, Qiao N, Andres R, Tucker KL. Dietary patterns and changes in body mass index and waist circumference in adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77(6):1417-1425. doi:10.1093/ajcn/77.6.1417
16. The female athlete triad. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(10):1867. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e318149f111
17. Nutrition and athletic performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(3):709-731. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31890eb86
18. Wasserfurth P, Palmowski J, Hahn A, Krüger K. Reasons for and consequences of low energy availability in female and male athletes: social environment, adaptations, and prevention. Sports Med - Open. 2020;6(1):44. doi:10.1186/s40798-020-00275-6
19. Brown ON, O’Connor LE, Savaiano D. Mobile MyPlate: a pilot study using text messaging to provide nutrition education and promote better dietary choices in college students. J Am Coll Health. 2014;62(5):320-327. doi:10.1080/07448481.2014.899233
20. Lua PL, Wan Putri Elena WD. The impact of nutrition education interventions on the dietary habits of college students in developed nations: a brief review. Malays J Med Sci MJMS. 2012;19(1):4-14.
21. Abood DA, Black DR, Birnbaum RD. Nutrition education intervention for college female athletes. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2004;36(3):135-139. doi:10.1016/S1499-4046(06)60150-4
22. Valliant MW, Pittman Emplaincourt H, Wenzel RK, Garner BH. Nutrition education by a registered dietitian improves dietary intake and nutrition knowledge of a NCAA female volleyball team. Nutrients. 2012;4(6):506-516. doi:10.3390/nu4060506
23. Trakman GL, Forsyth A, Hoye R, Belski R. Development and validation of a brief general and sports nutrition knowledge questionnaire and assessment of athletes’ nutrition knowledge. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15(1):17. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0223-1
24. Renard M, Kelly DT, Chéilleachair NN, Catháin CÓ. Evaluation of nutrition knowledge in female Gaelic games players. Sports. 2020;8(12):154. doi:10.3390/sports8120154
25. Sullivan GM, Artino AR. Analyzing and interpreting data from Likert-type scales. J Grad Med Educ. 2013;5(4):541-542. doi:10.4300/JGME-5-4-18
26. Trakman GL, Forsyth A, Hoye R, Belski R. The nutrition for sport knowledge questionnaire (NSKQ): development and validation using classical test theory and Rasch analysis. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:26. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0182-y
27. Trakman GL, Forsyth A, Hoye R, Belski R. Developing and validating a nutrition knowledge questionnaire: key methods and considerations. Public Health Nutr. 2017;20(15):2670-2679. doi:10.1017/S1368980017001471
28. Elsahoryi NA, Trakman G, Kilani AA. General and sports nutrition knowledge among Jordanian adult coaches and athletes: a cross-sectional survey. PLOS ONE. 2021;16(11):e0258123. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0258123
29. Nevarez L. Evaluation of MyPlate recommendations and dietary habits of EIU ROTC cadets: a mixed methods approach. :69.