Zahra Sadek, Hala Mohsen, Saja Yazbek, Zein Al Abidin Nabulsi, Ahmad Rifai Sarraj and Maha Hoteit
Dietary Supplements Use among Athletes in Lebanon: Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, and Correlates
Foods 2022, 11, 1521
Athletes are under the utmost pressure to reach excellence in their performance and achieve the desired outcomes in competitions, prompting them to use dietary supplements. Given the threats to both health and eligibility, it is crucial to observe the prevalence, sources of information, knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) among Lebanese athletes practicing their sports for at least two years. In the present paper, a cross-sectional study is performed using the snowball sampling method, in which a self-administered KAP questionnaire is used to collect data from 455 athletes (mean age: 27.4 7.9 years; men: 73.1%) participating in four sports categories (ball games, combat sports, endurance sports, and weightlifting). Among the Lebanese athletes, the prevalence of dietary supplement (DS) use was 74%, where half of them had predominately used sports supplements. Athletes in Lebanon heavily rely on coaches (74%) and online sources, including webpages and social media (64%), as key information sources for DSs. The findings suggest that significant proportions of athletes show knowledge deficits and unsatisfactory attitudes towards multiple aspects related to supplementation. Moreover, education and sports type modulate the use of DSs among athletes. Furthermore, 34% reported using supplements without a recommendation from specialists, and 69% admitted to not reading the supplement’s nutrition facts. This study urges the need for the regulation of concerned authorities and education programs to help overcome the existing challenges.
Keywords: dietary; supplements; knowledge; attitudes; practices; Lebanese; athletes