The protein supplements consumption amongpeople attending commercial gyms: The Protein Project

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review

Abstract

Nowadays, in an European gym context we may find more than threepeople amongst ten who declare protein supplements consumption. Health,physical fitness, self-esteem, performance and muscle hypertrophy are usuallythe main reasons inducing such kind of consumption. It well documented thatparticularly active individuals use supplements to build muscle, gain strengthor prevent future diseases and illnesses. Furthermore, scientific researchershave shown that in general people have different opinions about the useof supplements and the appropriate food to eat. As reported by Bianco andcolleagues in 2011, proteins are the most widely ingested supplements inpeople attending commercial gyms and supplement users also consumedhigher protein content foods in respect to those who did not supplement. It isclear that there is an increased interest in what is considered “proper” nutritionand what is the best nutritional strategy to optimize exercise-training workouts.Dietary behaviour is in fact a complex phenomenon; food-based approachesare regarded as the long-term strategy for improving nutrition. These require significant efforts and appropriate planning in order toinclude certain specific macronutrients or supplements in every day’s diet.Moreover, the area of provenience seems to have an influence on supplementschoices and on dietary behaviours (as reported by Bianco et al in 2014). Dietingor unhealthy eating practices, (such as eating foods deemed as “bad” by thedieter), in one-way or another, may be associated with long-term weight gain.Previous studies have shown discrepant rates of supplement intake amongstsubjects that exercise in gyms. These different findings might be explainedby different gyms and people enrolled. Probably an under or over-reporteduse of such supplements, or an incorrect knowledge of what is considered asupplement may lead to such results. As mentioned before, proteins are themost widely consumed supplement in commercial gyms, although associationof protein supplements and food consumption is a poorly researched field. It isto date unclear whether those more inclined to supplement also have healthierdietary patterns. As shown by Pechey and colleagues in 2010, socioeconomicstatus is another factor influencing the quality of food intake, highlightingthat low socioeconomic status people usually purchase a greater proportionof unhealthy foods and beverages. Conversely, high socioeconomic statuspeople purchase greater proportions of fibres, proteins and total sugars, andsmaller proportions of sodium.The protein project is a scientific project of ten years duration (2011-2021)leaded by the University of Palermo in collaboration with many partners fromthe entire world. It is composed by three different epidemiological studies:Study A) Population Target - Commercial Gym attendees, Study design, Faceto-face interview; Study B) Population Target - Commercial Gym attendees,Study design, Self Reporting Questionnaire; Study C) Population Target - NetSurfers Study design, Self Reporting Online Short Questionnaire. The proteinproject aims to investigate the use of protein supplementation, alone or inassociation with other supplements amongst regular fitness center attendees.The project is actually running in 4 European countries and involves 7Universities. Moreover, Authors are interested in sources of information, dietarybehaviour, quality of training and quality of life of people who are attendingcommercial gyms, The common questions we are trying to answer are: 1) Whois taking protein supplements nowadays? 2) There is enough informa
Original languageEnglish
Pages345-347
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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