University of Hertfordshire

A valid and reliable nutrition knowledge questionnaire for track and field athletes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Matt Furber
  • Justin Roberts
  • Michael Roberts
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Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2017


Background Establishing an understanding of an athlete’s nutrition knowledge can inform the coach/practitioner and support the development of the athlete. Thus the purpose of the study was to develop a psychometrically valid and reliable tool to assess general and sport nutrition knowledge. Methods An 85 question questionnaire was developed in consultation with a panel of experts. Ninety-eight participants from the UK completed the questionnaire, and again 3 weeks later. The participants were classified into two groups: those with nutrition (NUT, n = 53) training (sport nutritionists and dietitians who were either practicing or undertaking a postgraduate qualification in the field), and those without (NONUT, n = 48) training (professionals and postgraduate students with no exposure to any form of nutrition training). The questionnaire was then administered to a pilot cohort of UK based track and field athletes (n = 59) who were requested to time how long it took to complete the questionnaire. Results Psychometric statistical analysis of the results was completed, resulting in the removal of 23 questions for a total of 62 questions in the final questionnaire. The validated questionnaire was then administered to 58 track and field athletes. Internal consistency was assessed using Chronbach’s alpha (α > 0.7), Pearson’s correlation (p < 0.05) was used to assess reliability. Construct validity was evaluated using a t-test (p < 0.05). A total test retest correlation of 0.95 was achieved (sub-section range: 0.87–0.97). Internal consistency was accepted in each sub-section (α = 0.78–0.92) and the nutrition-trained group scored significantly higher on the overall questionnaire (80.4 vs 49.6%). The overall score for the athletic group was 61.0%. Conclusion The questionnaire satisfied all psychometric measures and provides a new valid and reliable tool to assess general and sport nutrition knowledge of track and field athlete.


© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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