Sydney Olympic Games Nutrition Research
There was a nutrition website created for the athletes at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and a Nutrition Kiosk located in the Olympic Village food hall which was used to obtain feedback on the menu as well as question the athletes on their pre-competition diet as part of a research project. There have been several research papers published by the chief investigator Fiona Pelly, based on the data collected at that time. A selection of the published papers is listed below.
- Pelly, F, Denyer, G, O'Connor, H, Caterson, I. 2004. Nutrition at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Published conference abstract from 2004 Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport: Vol. 7, No. 4, Supp. 1, pp.S31.
ABSTRACT: To satisfy the demand for nutrition information from the 10,300 representatives from 36 sports and 200 countries participating in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, an interactive website and menu labeling system was developed. Each of the 1587 menu items was classified according to energy and macronutrient criteria, suitability for special diets and glycaemic index. Original icons were developed to represent energy and macronutrients. For consistency, the menu labeling system was displayed on the website, alongside meals in the village dining halls and within personal menu plans developed for athletes by sports dietitians at a nutrition 'kiosk' located in the dining hall. From 31st July – 1st November 2000, 11,004 searches of the menu were performed on the website. In line with current sport nutrition guidelines, most macronutrient searches were for high carbohydrate (56%) and/or low fat (52%) menu items. Results from a questionnaire distributed from the nutrition kiosk revealed 22% of athletes (n=358) had seen the website prior to the Olympics, the majority (47%) on the advice of their coach, trainer or dietitian. During the four weeks athletes resided in the Olympic village (2nd September – 3rd October 2000), 1,508,001 meals were served in the main dining hall with a maximum uptake of 42,243 meals per day. McDonalds provided 18% of this total. Of the athletes providing feedback on the menu, 75% strongly agreed or agreed there were sufficient low fat dishes (n=135), while 55% reported using menu labels at least some of the time and 47% rated the labels as 'excellent'(n=158).
- Pelly, F, O'Connor, H, Denyer, G, Caterson, I. 2004. Competition diet strategies of Olympic athletes. Published conference abstract from 2004 Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport: Vol. 7, No. 4, Supp. 1, pp.S32
ABSTRACT: This study investigated the competition diet strategies of Olympic athletes via a questionnaire distributed within the dining hall at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Of the 571 distributed questionnaires, 172 were eliminated due to poor completion rates (<50%) and/or obviously inconsistent responses, leaving a total of 399 (4% of total athlete population). Responses were received from 78 countries (39.0%) with 31 of the 36 Olympic sports (86.1%) represented. The mean age of respondents was 26.2 yrs (range 12-50 yrs), with 44.1% male and 55.9% female. The majority of respondents (81.6%) reported eating the same or more carbohydrate prior to competition. A significantly higher proportion of participants in aesthetic/weight category sports reported eating less food (54.1%), less carbohydrate (29.7%) and less protein (43.2%) prior to competition compared to those participating in endurance/team sports (p<0.001). More than one third of athletes reported always (36.8%) or sometimes (35.2%) taking supplements. Significantly more Australian athletes (41.9%) reported never or rarely using supplements compared to athletes from other countries (25.3%) (p=0.028). Reported fluid intake prior to competition was significantly associated with the type of sport (p<0.001). Over 50% of endurance/team sport athletes reported increasing fluid intake compared to 20% from aesthetic/weight categories, 30.1% of whom reported decreasing fluid consumption. A significantly higher (p=0.014) proportion of Australian athletes (56.5%) reported increasing their fluid intake prior to competition compared to athletes from other countries (38.5%). Athletes obtained their nutrition information from a variety of sources, predominantly books (43.3%), sports dietitians (30.3%), magazines/ fliers (28.0%) and other athletes (25.3%).
- Pelly, F, King, T, O'Connor, H. 2006. Factors Influencing Food Choice of Elite Athletes at an International Competition Dining Hall. Proceedings of the 2nd Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science Conference, Sydney 2006: pp132.
- Pelly, F, O'Connor, H, Denyer, G, Caterson, I. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007. An Environmental Nutrition Intervention at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Conference Abstract. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise - Supplement May: Vol. 39, No. 5, ppS291.
The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate an environmentally based nutrition intervention to support the dietary needs of athletes at the Sydney Olympic Games. The study used a multifaceted approach to review the proposed Olympic menu, development of unique nutrition labels, a website, and a nutrition kiosk. The results found that most athletes were aware of at least one facet of the nutrition intervention and were generally satisfied with the quality of materials encountered. The nutrition labels were rated as excellent and used by 85.5% of athletes at least some of the time. Feedback from athletes suggested the menu catered successfully for diverse cultural, special diet and athletic needs without compromising the taste of the food. The environmental nutrition intervention used for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was found to be beneficial but could be improved for future games.
- Pelly, F, O'Connor, H, Caterson, I. 2008. Competition Nutrition Strategies of Athletes Competing at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Conference Abstract. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: Vol. 40, No. 5, ppS13.
- Pelly, F. E., O'Connor, H. T., Denyer, G. S. and Caterson, I. D. (2009), Catering for the athletes village at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games: the role of sports dietitians. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, Volume: 19, Issue: 4, Pages: 340-354.
This article is about the development, analysis, and implementation of the Olympic Athletes Village menu at the Sydney 2000 Games. The menu was designed after literature reviews, focus groups, and athlete food-preference surveys. The final menu was assessed by an expert panel of sports dietitians. A database was developed to enable dietary analysis (Foodweb). 414 athletes were surveyed in the main dining hall, and agreed that the menu contained sufficient variety and adequate meat, pasta/rice, vegetable/salad, fruit, and snack items.
- Olympic Games Nutrition in Sydney 2000
- Olympic Village nutrition, includes links to info about the menu at other Olympic Games.
- Nutrition and the Olympics
- History of the Olympic Games Athlete Villages
- Nutrition for Athletes at Major Events