Athletes’ Opinions of Food Provision at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games: The Influence of Culture and Sport

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism

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Sarah J. Burkhart
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Fiona E. Pelly
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The aim of this study was to investigate whether athletes’ opinion of food provision in the main dining hall of the athletes’ village at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games varied according to cultural background, sport, stage of competition, and previous experience at similar events. A previously developed questionnaire was distributed over 3 meal periods to 351 athletes dining in the main dining hall during the course of the games (Sept. 23 to Oct. 4, 2010). Despite the challenges of food provision in a non-Western region, the availability of food and beverage items was rated highly. However, athletes from Western regions tended to rate food provision qualities lower than athletes from non-Western regions. Most athletes found it easy to find items to meet their nutrition needs; however, requests for sports foods, snacks, and culturally specific items were received. Power/sprint athletes were more critical of the food provision, whereas athletes from aesthetic sports tended to rate it more highly. Athletes farther from competition gave higher ratings for taste, while athletes who had more experience in this type of environment also tended to be more critical of the food provision. Overall daily mean opinion scores for taste and menu variety decreased over the games period. The results of this study can help organizers and caterers ensure that appropriate food and beverage are provided for athletes at major competition events.

The authors are with the School of Health and Sports Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.

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