A Proposed Conceptual Sport Nutrition Approach for Athlete Development and Assessment: The Athlete Nutrition Development Approach

Sports Med Open. 2022 Dec 8;8(1):142. doi: 10.1186/s40798-022-00532-w.


Appropriate dietary intake can improve athletes' health and sport performance and is a direct result of eating behaviours. Therefore, assessing and shaping athletes' eating behaviours and dietary intake is critical to the provision of sport nutrition services. As such, nutrition practitioners must also consider the determinants of eating behaviours. However, dietary intake, eating behaviours, and its determinants are inconsistently defined in the literature, requiring nutrition practitioners to navigate a complicated landscape of concepts and terminology. This is further complicated by limitations in practically measuring and influencing eating behaviours and dietary intake. The proposed Athlete Nutrition Development Approach was developed to aid practitioners in servicing decisions through the athlete development process, through a three-tiered approach to sport nutrition service delivery. Tier 1 addresses the determinants of eating behaviours, Tier 2 directly addresses eating behaviours and dietary intake, and Tier 3 addresses the consequences of dietary intake in relation to health and sport performance. Each tier includes tools for assessment and development.

Keywords: COM-B; Dietary intake; Eating behaviours; Food choices.

Publication types

  • Review