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Open AccessArticle

High Prevalence of Supplement Intake with a Concomitant Low Information Quality among Swiss Fitness Center Users

1
Department of Health, Bern University of Applied Sciences, 3008 Bern, Switzerland
2
Department of Elite Sport, Swiss Federal Office of Sport, 2532 Magglingen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2595; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092595
Received: 29 June 2020 / Revised: 11 August 2020 / Accepted: 21 August 2020 / Published: 26 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sports Nutrition)
Background: The aim of this study was to screen the prevalence of supplement use in Swiss fitness center users and what information sources they consulted. Methods: Customers of 10 fitness centers were screened with a quantitative questionnaire. Results: Eighty two percent of the 417 fitness center users consumed at least one supplement per week. Supplement intake correlated with training frequency (rs = 0.253, p < 0.001). The most prevalent products were protein supplements (used by 49% of the study population), magnesium (34%), and multi-micronutrient supplements (31%). The average number of supplement servings per week among consumers was 17.1 (SD: 16.1, median: 11.0) and the average number of different products used was 6.9 (SD: 4.4, median: 6.0). The most frequently used information sources were the coach/trainer (28%), the website of the supplement seller (26%), and training peers (24%). Thirty seven percent were informed or informed themselves about potential risks associated with the supplement used. The leading reasons for selecting the information source were the desire for scientific-based information followed by the education level of the informing person. Conclusions: A high prevalence of supplement intake among Swiss fitness center users was associated with a low level of information quality and a low prevalence of risk information. A discrepancy between a desire for high quality evidence-based information and a contrasting behavior was detected. View Full-Text
Keywords: supplements; information source; fitness athletes; exercise; consumer behavior; risk behavior; risk perception supplements; information source; fitness athletes; exercise; consumer behavior; risk behavior; risk perception
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Mettler, S.; Bosshard, J.V.; Häring, D.; Morgan, G. High Prevalence of Supplement Intake with a Concomitant Low Information Quality among Swiss Fitness Center Users. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2595.

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