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Challenges of Supporting Dietitians

Consideration for diet by nutritionists who support para-athletes

Image: In interviews with para-athletes and their support staff, when it comes to diet and nutrition, researchers found a gap between para-athletes’ perceptions and nutritionists’ recommendations for healthy athletes. It highlights the barriers faced by para-athletes that nutritionists should be aware of when providing nutritional support.
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Credit: Tokyo Metropolitan University

Professor Hisayo Yokoyama of the Research Center for Urban Health and Sports, a researcher at Tokyo Metropolitan University, Specially Appointed Assistant Professor Miwako Deguchi and Specially Appointed Professor Nobuko Motomiya of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, conducted interviews with para-athletes with lower limb disabilities. about diet and nutrition. Six active para-athletes and one healthy para-sports trainer participating in international-level competitions clarified the issues regarding sports nutrition for para-athletes.

Athletes without disabilities tend to emphasize the intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats as sources of energy, but nearly all of the subjects interviewed indicated that a diet rich in vegetables and balanced in terms of nutrition improved exercise performance. shown to be ideal for This is because people hesitate to eat because they want to prevent obesity and lifestyle-related diseases that interfere with wheelchair operation in daily life, rather than nutritional meals to improve athletic ability. It is considered.

The research team found that the ideal diet for para-athletes is not necessarily the best for improving athletic performance, and that even if we understand what a truly optimal diet is, there are many different types of disabilities. We have found that traits are a barrier to dietary changes.

“The results of this study will help bridge the perception gap between para-athletes and support staff, including nutritionists and trainers, and facilitate collaboration between them. It is important to understand this, build good partnerships with para-athletes, and support them with sports nutrition,” concludes Professor Yokoyama.


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Tokyo Metropolitan University is a new public university established in April 2022 through the merger of Osaka City University and Osaka Prefecture University. For more research news, please visit or follow us. @OsakaMetUniv_en When #OMUScience.

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