Esther Malama-mutti is a lecturer for Home Economics at the university of Zambia. she started working as a primary school teacher in 2002. in 2008 she was awarded a staff development fellowship at the university of Zambia and has since been with the institution.
she is interested in food nutrition and health. Her greatest passion is to help people learn new information about nutrition and help them use locally available foods to plan nutritionally balanced meals to meet their nutritional needs.
The education backgrounds include a primary teachers certificate, bachelor of Education primary-English and Home economics, MSc in food Science and Nutrition. Currently, pursuing PhD in Home Economics.
Nutrition is an important component of any physical fitness program. It plays a very important role in attaining high level of achievements in sports, (Beals & Manore, 1998). It is also an important factor in the performance and health of athletes. High levels of nutrition knowledge and positive attitudes can result in increased performance and health of an athlete, (Nazni & Vimala, 2010; Spendlove et al, 2012).
Nutrition information is a vital component for any athletes’ success. It is important therefore that athletes have access to accurate nutrition information from appropriate sources as this will ultimately contribute to the output of the athlete.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study assesses the nutrition knowledge and dietary practices among selected sportspersons using specific thematic areas at Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in Lusaka.
Findings indicated that all the respondents were regular sports men and women who frequented the OYDC whose dietary practices, information and knowledge of nutrition ranges from average to poor. There appears to be no deliberate channels created to inform the athletes on nutrition as a whole. The strongest theme observed was the Dietary practice in terms of meals. According to the responses, a vast majority of the sports men and women exhibited fair to good dietary practices such as eating meals regularly, following diet plans, taking regular snacks and avoiding alcoholic beverages. The sources of information on nutrition however were in most cases informal and inappropriate leading to very poor nutrition behavioral practices.
The analysis of the demographical survey indicated that the lower the educational background the poorer the nutrition behavioral practices.
It was discovered that many of the athletes and coaches at OYDC were not aware of the importance of nutrition knowledge let alone good nutrition behavioral practices.
co-author: Katongo B. Moonga