Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Women softball players--Nutrition--Iowa--Cedar Falls; Women college athletes--Nutrition--Iowa--Cedar Falls; Nutrition--Study and teaching (Higher)--Iowa--Cedar Falls;


Optimal nutrition is vital in sport. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a sport nutrition education intervention (SNEI) on nutritional knowledge, dietary behaviors, nutritional self-efficacy, body composition, and performance in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I female softball players, and to measure retention and effects of this knowledge after the SNEI period. Seven participants were assessed using a Dietary Behaviors and Nutritional Knowledge questionnaire, Self-Efficacy questionnaire, BodPod measurement, exit velocity, and weekly intention surveys. Two-way mixed repeated ANOVAs were used to determine the impact of a five-week SNEI on an intervention group as compared to a control. One-way repeated measures ANOVAs were used to assess changes from pretest to posttest to retention. The results support existing literature that collegiate athletes score relatively low on nutritional knowledge assessments, and nutrition education can increase nutritional knowledge and self-efficacy scores. However, increases in nutritional knowledge and self-efficacy scores, in combination with high intentions to eat proper diets for sport performance, are not sufficient to see significant changes in dietary behaviors over a nine-week period. Consequently, body composition and exit velocity were also unchanged. Additionally, nutritional knowledge and self-efficacy were retained at three weeks post intervention, suggesting that a short-term SNEI may be sufficient to see prolonged improvement in these measures. Further research is needed to understand best practices in SNEI structure that will successfully improve and sustain favorable dietary behaviors in athletes, leading to improved body composition and performance in sport.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Kinesiology

First Advisor

Jacob Reed, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 118 pages)



File Format