A. Filler¹, E. DeFrang¹, D. Stedman¹, W. Repovich², FACSM, J. Peterson¹, FACSM. ¹Linfield College, McMinnville, OR; ²Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Poor nutrition in college football players may lead to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome associated conditions. The institution may influence dietary choices. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare the dietary intake of in season division I (DI) and III (DIII) collegiate football players. METHODS: A total of 31 players, 15 DI (19, 19 - 23 yr) and 16 DIII (19, 19 - 20 yr) completed testing in the fall. Variables collected for this study included height, weight and a 24-hour diet recall. A 5-pass interview method was used to collect nutrition data which was processed using the ESHA Food Processor program. Data were compared using an independent t-test. A Pearson r correlation test was used to examine relationships between variables. This study was approved by the Linfield College Institutional Review Board. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between body mass index (BMI, DI: 28.08 +4.53, DIII: 28.36 +3.36 kg/m²), total caloric intake (DI: 4708 +1662, DIII: 4530 +1695 kcal), carbohydrate, fat, water, fiber, or micronutrient intake. However, DI players were taller (DI: 1.87 +0.07, DIII: 1.82 +0.05 m, p = 0.04) and consumed a higher percentage of calories from protein (DI: 21.04 +4.74, DIII: 17.54 +3.53 % kcal, p = 0.03). Using BMI, 67% of DI and 81% of DIII players were classified as overweight, specifically, 19% of DI and 40% of DIII players were classified as obese. Additionally, 75% of all players were overweight while 30% were classified as obese. There was a significant negative correlation of BMI with both fiber intake (36.16 +18.16 g,r= -0.442, p = 0.02) and relative protein consumption (2.34 +1.26 g/kg, r= -0.554, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: There were no differences based on institution. All players met or exceeded the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for macronutrients and micronutrients except for carbohydrate and potassium. Of concern, is the amount of cholesterol and sodium in the players diets. Some of the data suggests that higher BMI is correlated with poor diet choices. BMI alone is not an accurate measure for health risk in football players and future analysis will include body composition. Regardless of division classification, athletes should work with coaches, trainers, and registered dietitians to maximize performance and decrease metabolic syndrome associated health risks.

Supported by Linfield College Student Faculty Collaborative Research Grant.

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