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 three meal periods to 351 athletes dining in the main dining hall during the games period (23rd Sept – 14th Oct, 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. The majority of 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 the food provision higher. Athletes further 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 assist organisers and caterers with ensuring that appropriate food and beverage is provided for athletes at major competition events.
International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism / Vol. 23. No. 1, pp.11-23