Athlete use and opinion of point of choice nutrition labels at a major international competition.

Appetite

PubMedID: 23792156

Burkhart SJ, Pelly FE. Athlete use and opinion of point of choice nutrition labels at a major international competition. Appetite. 2013;706-13.
Point of choice (POC) labels may assist individuals to choose food appropriate for their needs when dining away from home. However, limited research exists on the use and opinion of labels by athletes in a large dining hall environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate athletes' utilisation and opinion of POC nutrition labels provided in the athletes village main dining hall at a major competition event (the 2010 Commonwealth Games, New Delhi, India). A questionnaire was distributed to athletes from a range of cultural and sporting backgrounds (n=351) while present within the dining hall during main meal periods throughout the competition event (23rd September-14th October, 2010). While the majority of respondents (79%) reported that it was important/very important to provide POC information for menu items and 59% rated the POC labels as useful/very useful, only 14% of athletes reported using labels all of the time. Athletes from specific regions (India/Sri Lanka, Africa), sports (team and weight category), and those with less education reported using the labels more frequently. Although females rated the importance of providing nutrition information higher than males (p=0.008), there was no gender difference in reported use of POC labels. Athletes believed that POC labels could be improved with the addition of more information, better aesthetic properties, and better positioning in more convenient locations. Further research to identify the most effective POC label for use in this environment, and ultimately the development of a standardised label may assist a broader range of athletes at future competitions.