Current perceptions and usage practices of nutritional supplements

Strachan, Keri (2009-12)

Thesis (MNutr (Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Human Nutrition))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate current perceived role of nutritional supplements in adolescent (16-18 years) male rugby players and establish usage practices within Kwazulu Natal (KZN) schools. Methods The nutritional supplementation practices of 68 rugby players from 7 KZN secondary schools were surveyed using an anonymous paper-based questionnaire. The boys were asked to identify from a list (with Other as a selection) which supplement they used, the frequency of use, sources of supplement information and advice they base their choices on, where products were bought from, reasons for use, average monthly spend on buying these supplements, whether dietary changes were made in conjunction with taking a supplement and what was their understanding of the role of supplementation in achieving their performance goals. Results Sixty eight out of 236 invited participants completed the questionnaire. This translated into a response rate of 29%. Fifty four percent of participants admitted to using nutritional supplements, protein and creatine being the most popular products listed (43% and 22% of supplement users, respectively). Thirty five percent of supplement users supplemented daily and 24% supplemented 3-4 times per week. Friends were the most popular source of advice and information regarding nutritional supplements 32% (n=12), with supplement company representatives the next most commonly used source 22% (n=8). Seventy percent (n=26) of supplements are bought from a pharmacy, with an average monthly cost of R250, but ranging from R30 to as much as R1500 per month. Seventy percent (n=26) indicated that they also made dietary changes in addition to taking the nutritional supplement. These dietary changes included making healthier food choices 81% (n=21), increasing intake of protein foods 65% (n=17), planned snacks around exercise 35% (n=9), increasing carbohydrate-rich foods 62% (n=16), increasing fruit and vegetable intake 50% (n=13), and including snacks between meals 35% (n=9). The study participants rated practice sessions and weight training as most important in terms of helping them achieve their goals; diet, rest and supplements were similarly ranked as being between fairly to very important. Twenty two percent admitted that they would consider taking an illegal supplement if it would assist them in achieving their goals. Conclusions This study indicates that at least half of rugby-playing school boys (age 16-18 yrs) are making use of some form of supplementation, with protein and creatine supplementation being the most popular. The data indicate that rugby-playing school boys see their peers as a good source of information, and are willing to spend a large amount of money obtaining it (about R250 per month on average). This is concerning as peer pressure combined with lack of knowledge on nutritional supplement usage (and nutrition) can lead to widespread misuse of supplements, and potential detrimental side-effects in this young study population. However it highlights the value that school-level educational programmes (age and sport specific) can have in improving supplement usage practices and creating sound nutritional practices amongst this population, better equipping them at making informed decisions. In addition, educational programmes should be extended to other influential sources of information such as school coaches, teachers and parents.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die studie was om die huidige persepsie oor die waarde van voedingsupplemente en die gebruikspraktyke daarvan in 16 -18 jarige adolessente manlike atlete in Kwazulu Natal (KZN) skole te bepaal. Uitkomste van die studie was om die voorkoms en tipe supplemente wat gebruik word, redes aangevoer vir die gebruik daarvan, kennis oor die rol van supplemente asook die bron van inligting te bepaal. Metodes Die voedingsupplementasie praktyke van 68 rugby spelers uit 7 KZN sekondêre skole is ondersoek deur gebruik te maak van n annonieme vraelys (papier basis). Die seuns is gevra om van n lys (die opsie ander was ingesluit) te identifiseer watter supplement hulle gebruik, die frekwensie van gebruik, die bronne van inligting en raadgewing ontvang, waar die produk aangekoop is, redes vir gebruik, gemiddelde maandelikse kostes aangegaan en of dieetveranderinge tesame met die supplementasie aangegaan is. Kennis rondom die rol van supplementasie in prestasie doelwitte is getoets. Resultate: Agt-en-sestig uit n totaal van 236 deelnemers wat uitgenooi is om deel te neem aan die studie, het die vraelys voltooi. Dus het 29% van die studie-deelnemers het dus op die vraelys gereageer. Vier en vyftig persent van die deelnemers het erken dat hulle supplemente gebruik waarvan kreatien en proteïen gelys is as die mees gewildste produkte (onderskeidelik 43% en 22%). Vyf en dertig persent het daagliks supplemente gebruik en 24% het 3-4 keer per week supplemente gebruik. Vriende was die mees gewildste bron van raad en inligting (32%), gevolg deur supplement maatskappy verteenwoordigers (22%). Sewentig persent van supplemente word gekoop by n apteek en n gemiddelde maandelikse bedrag van R250 word gespandeer, maar dit wissel van R30 tot soveel as R1 500 per maand. Sewentig persent het erken dat hulle dieet veranderinge in hul dieet tesame met die supplementasie aanbring. Hierdie veranderinge het die volgende ingesluit: die keuse van gesonder voedselsoorte (81%); n verhoogde inname van proteïenryke voedselsoorte (65%); beplanning van peuselhappies rondom oefening (65%); verhoogde inname van koolhidraatryke voedsel (62%); meer vrugte en groente (50%) en die neem van peuselhappies tussen maaltye (35%). Die deelnemers het oefening met gewigte en oefensessies as die mees belangrike faktore geag om hul doelwitte te bereik. Dieet, rus en supplemente is daarnaas gelyk geag as redelik belangrik en 22% het erken dat hulle n verbode middel sal gebruik indien dit hulle sal help om hulle doelwitte te bereik. Gevolgtrekkings Die studie wys dat ten minste die helfte van skoolseuns wat rugby speel (16-18 jr) een of ander vorm van supplementasie gebruik, waarvan proteïen en kreatien die mees gewildste is. Die data dui daarop dat skoolseuns wat rugby speel hul tydgenote ag as n goeie bron van inligting oor supplement gebruik en dat hulle bereid is om groot bedrae geld te spandeer om die supplemente te bekom (gemiddeld R250,00 per maand). Dit is kommerwekkend aangesien groepsdruk tesame met n gebrek aan kennis oor supplementasie (en voeding) kan lei tot algemene misbruik van supplemente en moontlike newe effekte in hierdie jong studie populasie. Dit beklemtoon egter ook die waarde wat skool gebasseerde opvoedingsprogramme kan hê om die bewustheid en kennis oor supplement gebruik in hierdie populasie te verbeter om hul in staat te stel om ingeligte besluite te neem. Dit moet ouderdom -en sportspesifieke voedingsonderrig insluit. Opvoedingsprogramme moet ook uitgebrei word na ander partye wat invloedryke bronne van inligting is soos skool afrigters, onderwysers en ouers.

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