This study was undertaken to determine whether high-level training alters food choice behavior with regard to meat and dairy products because of their high fat content. Twenty male collegiate swimmers were compared to 20 male sedentary students for dietary fat intake, nutrition knowledge, and liking of meat and dairy products. There was no significant difference between the two groups for restraint, energy intake, dietary fat intake, and energy derived from fat. Nutrition knowledge, energy derived from saturated fat, and cholesterol intake, however, were significantly higher in the athletes. The two groups did not differ in their hedonic ratings of flavor or in their overall degree of liking of the meat and dairy products, and the athletes actually liked the appearance and texture of the products significantly more than did the sedentary students. This study shows that the sensory appeal of fat-containing animal products is not affected in male swimmers by a high level of exercise.
J.-X. Guinard was with the Department of Nutrition, The Pennsylvania State University, at the time of the study and is now with the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616. K. Seador and J.L. Beard are with the Department of Numtion and P.L. Brown is with the Departments of Intercollegiate Athletics and Exercise Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.