Eating perception, nutrition knowledge and body image among para-athletes: Practical challenges in nutritional support

Miwako Deguchi, Hisayo Yokoyama, Nobuko Hongu, Hitoshi Watanabe, Akira Ogita, Daiki Imai, Yuta Suzuki, Kazunobu Okazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Limited information exists on dietary practices in para-athletes. The aim of this study was to clarify the actual situation of para-athletes’ dietary practice and to sort out the factors (i.e., eating perception, nutrition knowledge, and body image), that may hinder their dietary practices, and explored the practical challenges in nutritional support and improving nutrition knowledge for paraathletes. Thirty-two Japanese para-athletes (22 men) and 45 collegiate student athletes without disabilities (27 men) participated in the online survey. The questionnaire included demographic characteristics, eating perception, dietary practices, and nutrition knowledge. The Japanese version of the body appreciation scale was used to determine their body image. Para-athletes who answered that they knew their ideal amount and way of eating showed significantly higher body image scores (r = 0.604, p < 0.001). However, mean score for nutrition knowledge of para-athletes were significantly lower than collegiate student athletes (19.4 ± 6.8 vs. 24.2 ± 6.1 points, p = 0.001). Both groups did not identify a dietitian as the source of nutrition information or receiving their nutrition advice. The results indicate para-athletes have unique eating perceptions and inadequate nutrition knowledge. Future interventions are needed to examine nutritional supports and education in relation to the role of dietitians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3120
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Adult athletes
  • Dietary practices
  • Dietitians
  • Nutrition education
  • Online survey
  • Sports nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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