Athletes competing at major international competitions such as the Olympic (OG) and Commonwealth (CG) Games live in a purpose built village environment where they may source all, or the majority of their meals and snacks from the main dining hall. As such, athletes are reliant on the event caterers to provide a range of high quality items to meet cultural, sporting and personal requirements. Currently athletes are supported in this environment through the provision of a menu and nutrition support services. Dietitians have played an important role in assisting caterers to develop suitable menus for previous OG and CG events and it is now mandatory for the menu for all OG events to be reviewed by a dietitian prior to the event. However, there is little published literature available to evaluate the suitability of the menu for the diverse group of athletes present at these events. Additionally, even if appropriate items are provided in the dining hall some athletes may require assistance in order to locate or choose suitable items in this unique environment. In order to assist athletes with food choice a range of nutrition support services have been provided at previous OG and CG events, with a nutrition kiosk and Point of Choice (POC) nutrition labels being used most often. In fact, it is now mandatory for caterers to provide a nutrition kiosk staffed by a dietitian and POC labels in the dining hall of all OG events. However, evaluation of these services and the specific role that the dietitian plays in providing support to athletes in this environment is limited. Therefore the objectives of this thesis are to evaluate the nutrition support (the menu, nutrition kiosk and POC labels) provided to athletes at a major international competition (The Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games), to investigate the role of the dietitian in providing these services, and to identify if these services are appropriate for the diversity of athletes present at this event.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2014.