In professional soccer clubs in the UK, nutrition support is often polarised towards senior players or those in the senior academy age groups seeking first team selection/involvement. Accordingly, there is an increased reliance on parents and caregivers to provide support regarding nutritional intake. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of nutrition knowledge of parents and caregivers of male youth soccer players within developmental academies in the UK. Across a single competitive season, 360 registered parents and caregivers of male soccer players from English Premier League under 9–11 (Foundation Phase) and under 12–16 (Youth Development Phase) age group academies completed an online version of the 88-item validated Nutrition for Sport Knowledge Questionnaire. Nutrition knowledge scores were classified as “poor” (43 ± 23%). Nutrition knowledge scores were significantly greater in respondents with dependents representing Category 1 (45 ± 13%) vs. Category 2 (39 ± 15%) academies and in Foundation Phase (44 ± 13%) vs. Youth Development Phase (41 ± 15%). These results demonstrate that there is room for improvement in the nutrition knowledge levels of parents and caregivers of male soccer academy players. We recommend that club academies provide appropriate resources towards nutritional education for parents and caregivers.
|Issue number||Public Health, Nutritional Behavior and Nutritional Status|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Oct 2023|