Background/Purpose Public school female athletes need more nutrition-related knowledge in relation to non-athlete female students in order to achieve desirable athletic performance. This study investigated the effect of an educational intervention on increasing nutrition-related knowledge among a group of high school female athletes.
Method An eight-week educational intervention was implemented for 16 high school female athletes (intervention group). The intervention session, lasting 25 minutes, was held three times a week immediately before after-school training sessions and covered topics of nutrition, body image, and eating disorder. In addition to attending lectures and discussions, the intervention athletes also completed quizzes, “What I Learned” sheets, and task sheets in the intervention session. Another 16 female athletes from the same school district constituted a control group without receiving any intervention. Both groups received a pretest (60 points possible) covering the nutrition-related knowledge before the intervention began, and received the same test again as a posttest after the intervention period.
Analysis/Results One-way ANCOVA was used to compare the posttest scores between the two groups. The results indicated significant differences in adjusted means in the posttest scores in favor of the intervention group while controlling for the pretest scores. Specifically, the intervention group obtained 50.98 ± 6.52 points (adjusted means) in the posttest, whereas the control group scored 33.90 ± 2.03 points, with F(1, 29) = 118.10, p < .001, and η2 = .80.
Conclusions The extra educational program is effective in increasing nutrition-related knowledge among high school female athletes.
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