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5 . 2023

Development and validation of the questionnaire for testing the level of knowledge of athletes on nutrition


A large number of socio-economic factors affect the nutritional status of an athlete. Athletes’ nutritional awareness can affect long-term health and occupational disease risks among athletes. To assess the level of knowledge of athletes about nutrition, scientists of the world community have developed various types of tools in the form of questionnaires that are successfully used in practice to analyze the nutrition of athletes and optimize it. However, existing questionnaires and forms for filling them out have certain disadvantages, the most significant of which is a large number of questions, which requires significant time expenditure for athletes.

The goal of the research was to develop a questionnaire for conducting a survey of athletes using the classical theory of testing and the principles of The nutrition for sport knowledge questionnaire (NSKQ). Based on the results of the survey, an assessment was made of the hypothesis about the influence of the basic knowledge of athletes in matters of nutrition on the correctness of their answers within the questionnaire. The developed survey tool was also validated to ensure its reliability.

Material and methods. To obtain general information about the target audience and identify the level of knowledge of athletes about nutrition, a questionnaire was developed, which subsequently went through several stages of verification and validation. The respondents were athletes from the “Kronverkskie Barsy” student sports club at ITMO University. At the first stage of developing the questionnaire, questions were prepared about the target audience (TA) and blocks of questions about the basic knowledge of the TA on the main macronutrients of food, in particular on the blocks “proteins” (P), “fats” (F) and “carbohydrates” (C). At the second stage of the work, an online format for surveying respondents in a Google Form was implemented with a maximum time for completing the survey no more than 15 minutes. At the third stage of the study, the results of the survey were evaluated with preliminary data coding based on the Jamovi program. As a result, the analysis of the proposed hypotheses and the evaluation of the obtained research data were carried out.

Results. This study involved 56 athletes, of which 59% were women and 41% were men, average age 20.8±4.9 years. Most of the survey participants were ITMO University students (87.5%). 60.7% were involved in sports at a professional level, 35.7% – at an amateur level, and 3.6% of respondents belonged to elite sports. The average body mass index of the respondents (20.6±4.8 kg/m2) corresponded to the norm according to the Regulations of the World Health Organization. During the survey, the majority of respondents (78.6%) reported that they had basic knowledge on nutrition, a smaller part of the respondents – 12 (21.42%) people did not have basic knowledge about nutrition. It was suggested that there were significant differences in the correct answers of respondents with basic knowledge on nutrition (group 1) and respondents who didn’t have this knowledge (group 2). An assessment of the total number of correct answers in the total blocks (“proteins”, “fats”, “carbohydrates”) didn’t confirm the presence of significant differences in the knowledge of respondents in group 1 (81.0±5.5%) and group 2 (73.0±7.9%). However, it should be noted that there were significant differences in the number of correct answers in the «carbohydrates» block in group 1 (76.5±5.5%) and group 2 (61.1±3.7%). The validity of the developed survey model was tested using the Jamovi program with the determination of the Cronbach reliability factor (>0.7), corresponding to sufficient internal consistency of questions.

Conclusion. The questionnaire developed using the classical theory of respondent testing was evaluated for validity and reliability using the Jamovi software. This study was conducted with the participation of a sufficient number of respondents in the amount of 56 athletes. The hypothesis put forward about the influence of basic knowledge of athletes in nutrition on the correctness of their answers to questions about the main macronutrients of food was confirmed only for the “carbohydrates” block. This area of knowledge is set as the most difficult for respondents to answer. It should be noted that in the total assessment for all blocks of macronutrients (“proteins”, “fats” and “carbohydrates”) no significant differences were found in nutrition knowledge of the two groups of athletes.

Keywords:athletes; questionnaire development; questioning of athletes; model validity; evidence of the hypothesis; macronutrients; basic knowledge about macronutrients

Funding. The work was carried out with the support of the Vladimir Potanin Charitable Foundation as part of the Grant Competition for Master’s Degree Teachers 2021 (GK21-000160).

Conflict of interest. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Contribution. The concept and design of the study – Nadtochii L.A., Eminova E.R., Gerdt V.A.; data collection – Raskin E.О., Rusanov D.Yu.; statistical data processing – Gerdt V.A., Eminova E.R.; writing the text – Nadtochii L.A., Eminova E.R., Gerdt V.A.; editing, approval of the final version of the article, responsibility for the integrity of all parts of the article – all authors.

For citation: Gerdt V.A., Eminova E.R., Nadtochii L.A., Raskin E.О., Rusanov D.Yu. Development and validation of the questionnaire for testing the level of knowledge of athletes on nutrition. Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2023; 92 (5): 80–6. DOI: (in Russian)


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Viktor A. Tutelyan
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Scientific Director of the Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety (Moscow, Russia)

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