The Relationship between Nutrition Knowledge and Performance Measures in British Collegiate American Football Athletes
Clemo, Matthew Philip
The purpose of this thesis was to ascertain whether or not a significant relationship exists between nutrition knowledge and athletic performance among British collegiate American football athletes. In order to quantify an athlete’s nutrition knowledge and overall performance ability, a nutrition knowledge questionnaire was developed and a new performance assessment tool (Euclid) was evaluated. The nutrition knowledge questionnaire was developed using validation and reliability procedures. From the initial thirty-four questions, nine were removed due to a lack of significance shown when testing for construct validity, and a further two were also removed following the results of tests for internal consistency. The remaining twenty-three questions formed the valid and reliable questionnaire that was utilised to quantify an athlete’s nutrition knowledge. Next, the Euclid model was evaluated as a way of quantifying overall athletic performance in American football in comparison with previously used methods in this area of research. The greatest support for the model’s applicability came from the observed significant relationships between Euclid scores and competitive experience among offensive and defensive starters (n = 6, r = 0.922, p = 0.026; n = 4, r = 0.999, p = 0.022). While significance was not consistently observed between the Euclid performance scores and other control methods, the results warranted further examination of the model. When the nutrition knowledge questionnaire and the Euclid model were used with a British collegiate American football population, results were found to suggest the existence of a relationship between some of the variables. The offensive athletes demonstrated a significant relationship between nutrition knowledge and performance scores (n = 16; r = -0.610, p = 0.012). However, as significance was not observed for the whole group, or for the defensive athletes, further research will be required to discover the true impact of nutrition knowledge on athletic performance in American football.