Sample Paper on Critical Analysis

Research Problem

The above paper investigated whether the current female college athletes followed the required dietary standards. Although athletes are supposed to follow a specific regimen, there are numerous cases where female athletes especially those in college have not followed the required diet (Taylor et al., 2015). Failure to follow a specific regimen has a specific negative effect on the metabolic process of the athletes especially when engaging in any form of sporting exercise (Shriver, Betts, & Wollenberg, 2013). Ideally, their food is supposed to contain the required amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and other biomolecules in the required proportion (Darmon, & Drewnowski, 2015). Therefore, the study was conducted to examine whether the female athletes followed the standard dietary regimen in place or whether they deviated from the norm.


The study hypothesised that the female college athletes never followed the current sports dietary nutrition standards


             A convenience descriptive study was utilised. The sample population was largely made up of female college athletes. The study was conducted in Division University which was located in Midwest United States. All the participant’s trainers were informed about the nature of the study. The trainers were the used in selecting participants from January 2009 to May 2010. All selected participants were informed of their roles and were required to get some consent form. All participants who were selected were 18 years and older and were to be fee from any form of injury (Shriver, Betts, & Wollenberg, 2013). All the interested athletes were supposed to visit a laboratory for some tests before being allowed to be part and parcel of the study. All participants were informed of the benefits as well as the risks involved in the study and were requested to sign their consent form prior to the data collection exercise.


Study Design

             A descriptive study was used in investigating whether female college athletes adhered to the required nutritional standards. Various forms of measurement were taken. These measurements included height, weight, and body mass and body composition. Standard measurements for all of the above measures were also collected and recorded. Tests were conducted on all individuals in the morning while all the participants were supposed to fast overnight before visiting the laboratory the next day (Shriver, Betts, & Wollenberg, 2013). Anthropometric measurements as well as dietary measurements were also collected.


52 participants completed the study and allowed their measurements be collected, recorded and analysed. This was 84% of the target population. Seven participants did not complete the study and as a result their values were not included in the study results.  The mean age of all the participants was collected after the participants were classified based on the type of sport they engaged in. The energy intake of the participants indicated that carbohydrates were the major nutrient consumed. The participant’s energy levels were lower compared to the required amount by the body (Shriver, Betts, & Wollenberg, 2013). Carbohydrate intake was lower compared to the required minimum requirements. The analysis also revealed that protein and carbohydrates requirements were not being met by most of the athletes. In addition, there was a negative correlation between the frequency of dining out among individuals and the carbohydrate intake regardless of the intake taken by the participants



The results revealed that there were significant deviations from the required minimum standards meaning that the hypothesis was indeed true. Most female college athletes were unable to maintain the required nutrition level and therefore there was a high likelihood that the college athletes were not performing to the required standard based on their nutritional intake. The hypothesis revealed that female college athlete student’s dietary standards did not meet the required minimum standards.

Limitation and Strength

             There are several limitations to the above study. First, the study limited the number of athletes participating in the study. The time commitment as well as the effort required by the participants in the study was relatively low as students had to balance between training sessions, class meeting as well as numerous other commitment (Shriver, Betts, & Wollenberg, 2013). Secondly the study was based on a convenience sample meaning that any individual was allowed to participate in the study. Ideally, this means that the selection of the participants was not limited and as a result there is a possibility that some participants lacked the required characteristics to engage in the study, more importantly aspects such as dietary intake and nutrition related issue could significantly differ among individuals and affect the results (Shriver, Betts, & Wollenberg, 2013). Lastly, the study was based on the results of a three-day analysis through a seven-day analysis would have been more accurate for the above study. One of the major strength of the above paper is the ability to focus on an appropriate population when conducting a study on dietary intake.




             The result of the study indicated the importance of evaluating the dietary intake of athletes and in the process, investigate the effect it has on the sporting activities of the athletes. In the above case, the athletes failed to meet the required standards as a result did not follow the required sports guidelines. Nutritionists as well as sport physicians should be able to evaluate the impact of such results of athletes.



Darmon, N., & Drewnowski, A. (2015). Contribution of food prices and diet cost to         socioeconomic disparities in diet quality and health: a systematic review and analysis. Nutrition reviews, nuv027.

Shriver, L. H., Betts, N. M., & Wollenberg, G. (2013). Dietary intakes and eating habits of           athletes: are female college athletes following the current sports nutrition standards?.    Journal of American College Health, 61(1), 10-16.

Taylor, C. M., Wernimont, S. M., Northstone, K., & Emmett, P. M. (2015). Picky/fussy eating in  children: Review of definitions, assessment, prevalence and dietary intakes. Appetite, 95,      349-359.