Research Showcase Abstracts

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Reference Id
Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors (2022 and Later)
J. Shaw1, R. Laroche-Nantel1,2, C. Vincent1,3, I. Giroux1
1School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON,2Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON,3School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
What is the contribution of snacks to the energy and macronutrient intake of military recruits from the Canadian Armed Forces during Basic Military Qualification?
During Basic Military Qualification (BMQ), military recruits often struggle to meet their daily energy requirements, increasing their injury risk. Snacks are classified as any foods consumed between typical breakfast, lunch, or dinner times and provide on average 22.7% of Canadian adults’ daily energy intake. Snack intake could be particularly beneficial for populations with high energy expenditure and restricted mealtime such as military recruits.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
Evaluate the macronutrient composition of snacks as well as their contribution to daily energy intake amongst military recruits during BMQ.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
Food photography was used to capture meal consumption over two days and a questionnaire for daily snack consumption was distributed to recruits. Daily food intake was analysed with ESHA Food Processor using recipes provided by StratJ4 Food Services and the Canadian Nutrient File to determine energy and macronutrient intake.
Amongst 33 participants, 27 (82%) and 28 (85%) consumed at least one snack on days 1 and 2 respectively. Average daily energy intake was 2598.6±892.5 kcal/d for recruits who did not consume snacks, compared to 3151.3±852.8 kcal/d for those who did. Average energy intake from snacks was 478.2±211.9 kcal/day, representing 15% of daily energy intake. Snack intake represented 12.5% of daily carbohydrate intake, 12.8% of protein intake and 19.0% of fat intake. Forty-six percent of energy intake from snacks was from vending machines, while 54.0% consisted of healthier snacks from the cafeteria.
Snacks represented an important proportion of daily energy and macronutrient intake amongst recruits. These findings confirm that snacks could be beneficial to support military recruits in meeting their daily energy requirements, particularly during times of high energy expenditure such as BMQ.
Significance to Dietetics
Dietitians should promote the consumption of snacks in military recruits to help minimize energy deficits, which may in turn help to optimize performance and limit injury in this population.
Funded by
Isabelle Giroux’s Research Fund and Strat J4 Food Services

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