Background: Sports nutrition is a key component for optimizing training sessions; the use of a small number of dietary supplements may enhance athletic performance. However, elite athletes engaging in endurance their performance are often at risk of health nutrition problems or doping. Moreover, the market of dietary supplements provides a reference model for people to convey good or bad information. Recently, the novel food consumption based on insect-bars has developed in food market. Although studies on edible insects has showed positive benefits, from nutritional values to low environmental impact, disgust and neophobia can explain the aversion of Western countries to this novel food. To this aim, this study intended to explore athletes’ attitudes toward supplements and their nutrition knowledge. Food neophobia, the intention to taste cricket-bar and the possibility to modify the initial intention through a nudge experiment were, therefore, investigated. Parametric and non-parametric analyses were applied to the data. Methods: 61 athletes (Mage =27.8 ± 5.0, M =34) completed a battery including socio-demographic information, supplements and eating habits, food neophobia, nutrition knowledge, willingness to taste cricket bars and sports endorsement. Findings: Results showed that all athletes consumed supplements, mainly protein-amino acid and that the nutritionists were the most common source of information. White meat was the most animal product consumed by athletes. Their nutrition knowledge was poor. Participants obtained low level in food neophobia. Women and adults were less inclined to taste cricket bars. An increasing in tasting after the nudge was observed. Protein source and disgust respectively accounted for the willingness and rejection to taste. Few athletes were available to advertise cricket-bars. Discussion and conclusion: Data confirmed the frequent use of supplements among athletes, mainly to improve recovery through proteins. The emerging lack of athletes ‘nutritional knowledge implies particular attention to the role of nutrition professionals and specialists supports should play in reducing these risks. The nudge experiment suggested a positive attitude among female and older athletes to taste novel food by reinforcing the association between alternative protein source and cricket-bars with attractive and appealing package. It is likely to think that by increasing the number of tastings, the familiarization and awareness of the product can increase the number of athletes available to promote it.

Dietary supplements among professional athletes: Food neophobia and marketing strategies to promote edible insects.

Viscecchia R
Conceptualization
;
De Devitiis B
Data Curation
;
Monacis L
Writing – Review & Editing
2019

Abstract

Background: Sports nutrition is a key component for optimizing training sessions; the use of a small number of dietary supplements may enhance athletic performance. However, elite athletes engaging in endurance their performance are often at risk of health nutrition problems or doping. Moreover, the market of dietary supplements provides a reference model for people to convey good or bad information. Recently, the novel food consumption based on insect-bars has developed in food market. Although studies on edible insects has showed positive benefits, from nutritional values to low environmental impact, disgust and neophobia can explain the aversion of Western countries to this novel food. To this aim, this study intended to explore athletes’ attitudes toward supplements and their nutrition knowledge. Food neophobia, the intention to taste cricket-bar and the possibility to modify the initial intention through a nudge experiment were, therefore, investigated. Parametric and non-parametric analyses were applied to the data. Methods: 61 athletes (Mage =27.8 ± 5.0, M =34) completed a battery including socio-demographic information, supplements and eating habits, food neophobia, nutrition knowledge, willingness to taste cricket bars and sports endorsement. Findings: Results showed that all athletes consumed supplements, mainly protein-amino acid and that the nutritionists were the most common source of information. White meat was the most animal product consumed by athletes. Their nutrition knowledge was poor. Participants obtained low level in food neophobia. Women and adults were less inclined to taste cricket bars. An increasing in tasting after the nudge was observed. Protein source and disgust respectively accounted for the willingness and rejection to taste. Few athletes were available to advertise cricket-bars. Discussion and conclusion: Data confirmed the frequent use of supplements among athletes, mainly to improve recovery through proteins. The emerging lack of athletes ‘nutritional knowledge implies particular attention to the role of nutrition professionals and specialists supports should play in reducing these risks. The nudge experiment suggested a positive attitude among female and older athletes to taste novel food by reinforcing the association between alternative protein source and cricket-bars with attractive and appealing package. It is likely to think that by increasing the number of tastings, the familiarization and awareness of the product can increase the number of athletes available to promote it.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11369/379917
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