Date of Award


Document Type



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Saigeetha Sangiah

Second Advisor

Ora Moten

Third Advisor

Chongo Mundende


Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA's ) reflect that the average healthy American aged 18-24 years should consume 1,200 mg of calcium daily and 10-12 mg and 15 mg of iron for men and women respectively. These RDA's have not been adjusted for those persons involved in endurance sports. Studies by Telford (1992) and Clarkson (1992) show that endurance athletes suffer from calcium and iron deficiencies. There is a general assumption that athletic coaches are more concerned with the "weigh in" of 4 athletes than overall nutrient requirements. Positive nutrition education should be part of the overall training of athletes. Also, studies show that if individuals are well trained in what can be harmful to his or her body and what is helpful to the body, the general population will undergo behavior modification to prevent a deficiency conditions to worsen (Solomon, 1996). The general assumption is that once an individual knows what to feed the body that person will be conscious about the food he or she chooses.

There are many in-depth studies that have assessed deficiencies and eating habits among collegiate endurance athletes; however, only a few of those have aimed to institute correctional processes for such deficiencies among college athletes. For this reason, these studies are all the more important.

The purpose of this study is to determine the average daily intake of calcium and iron of Langston University track and basketball athletes and determine if they are at risk for nutrient-deficiency diseases. It is hoped that there will be follow up studies regarding nutrient intake and nutritional knowledge of both athletes and coaches and that the outcome of this study will alert university officials to the importance of implementing nutrition education as an overall part of athletic training. It is also hoped that the coaches will work closely with athletes to help them consider the ramifications of poor nutritional knowledge and misinformation. It is further hoped that as a result of this study Langston University track and basketball athletes will become enthusiastic about improving their overall health by making wise choices. The results will help in formulating further research in this area.