Sports nutrition knowledge and practices of personal trainers

Jessica Weissman, Marcia Magnus, Theo NIYONSENGA, Andrea Roofe Sattlethight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Florida and 45 other states prohibit the practice of dietetics and nutrition by individuals who fail to satisfy certain minimum standards of education and training. Nonetheless, personal trainers (PTrs) in national chain gyms regularly engage in the unlicensed practice of nutrition counseling. The purpose of this study was to assess the sports nutrition knowledge and practices of personal trainers. Sixty PTrs at 14 fitness centers in South Florida, and 69 PTrs at the annual National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) conference completed the study. The questionnaire was developed by two professionals, reviewed by a panel of eight experts, and then pilot tested with 10 PTrs. Analyses were performed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences version 18. Test-retest reliability was estimated using the C Coefficient. Descriptive statistics as well as Spearman rank correlations, logistic regression models, and multiple regression models were also performed. Test-retest reliability estimates demonstrated that the questionnaire was in fair to almost perfect agreement. Approximately 91.5% of PTrs spend time on nutrition counseling with clients, and 42.6% include nutrition counseling services as part of their fees for services. The average nutrition knowledge score was 59.7% ± 21.2%. This convenience sample of South Florida PTrs and those attending the NSCA conference not only practice nutrition counseling services, but they also charge for these services. Violations of the state laws are likely to continue unless gyms are legally sanctioned.
Original languageEnglish
Article number254
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Community Medicine and Health Education
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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