Sports nutritionists adopt the nutrition care process road map to develop individualized meal planning for athletes
Norashikin Mustafa1, Nik Shanita Safii2, Mohd Izham Mohamad3, Sameeha Mohd Jamil2, Abdul Hadi Abdul Rahman4, Nor Samsiah Sani4, Azimah Ahmad5, Noor Hafizah Yatiman2, Ahmad Zawawi Zakaria3, Ruzita Abd Talib2, Poh Bee Koon2
1 Centre for Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur; Department of Nutrition Sciences, Kulliyyah of Allied Health Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan Pahang, Malaysia
2 Centre for Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3 Sports Nutrition Centre, National Sport Institute, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4 Center of Artificial Intelligence Technology, Faculty of Information Sciences and Technology, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia
5 Faculty of Medicine and Defense Health, National Defense University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Nik Shanita Safii
Centre for Community Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: It is considered that the implementation of nutrition care process (NCP) leads to more efficient and effective care, as well as enhancing the roles of dietetics and nutrition professionals in the clinical setting. However, little is known about the NCP being implemented in the sports nutrition setting to deliver nutrition care, especially in meal planning. Therefore, this study aims to identify the process that sports nutritionists (SNs) practice in meal planning to plan meals for athletes and identify the application of NCP.
Methods: In-depth interviews, using semi-structured interview questions, were conducted with SNs employed at the National Sports Institute of Malaysia. Five SNs who managed different types of sports were recruited. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were entered into ATLAS.ti 8 and analysed using thematic analysis.
Results: The following processes were identified: (i) collecting pertinent data, (ii) analysing the collected data, (iii) determining nutrition prescriptions, (iv) formulating goals and determining actions, (v) implementing actions and recommendations and (vi) monitoring.
Conclusions: This study identified six general processes practiced by SNs in meal planning that comprised the NCP's interrelated steps, except nutrition diagnosis statement from the nutrition diagnosis step of the NCP. A comprehensive process and workflow can help sports dietitians or nutritionists to develop individualised meal plans that can improve athletes' nutritional status, adherence, health and sports performance.