Research Showcase Abstracts

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Names, Organizational Affiliations, and Locations of all Authors (2022 and Later)
G.Viscardi1, R. Laroche-Nantel2, I.Giroux1
1 School of Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa (ON)
2 Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa (ON)
The quality of food choices made by military recruits during Basic Military Qualification in the Canadian Armed Forces
The Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS) in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec delivers Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) to members joining the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Due to the high training load of BMQ, recruits have specific nutrient needs. Considering that adequate nutritional intake is important to promote optimal physical and mental performance, it is essential to understand the food choices of recruits by assessing how often they make healthier choices.
Objective(s)/Process or Summary of Content
Evaluate the proportion of recruits who selected the healthier daily meal entrée option at the cafeteria during BMQ.
Method(s)/Systemic Approach Used
The recruits’ daily food intake data was collected during a BMQ in September 2021 using food photography and a snack questionnaire over two days. The healthier entrée choices were analysed in reference to the National Standardized Cycle Menu, which was designed and implemented by the National Defense StratJ4 Foodservices to facilitate optimal nutrition in CAF dining facilities, including the CFLRS cafeteria. Healthier entrée options are offered at each meal and must meet specific nutritional criteria in terms of macronutrients and energy. The results are presented as average percentage of recruits who chose the healthier entrée at meals daily.
The food choices of thirty-three recruits during two days of BMQ were analyzed. On average, 15.2%, 9.1% and 45.5% of recruits chose the healthier entrée at breakfast, lunch, and dinner respectively. Furthermore, the recruits who selected the healthier entrée at lunch consumed 53% of it, as opposed to 81% at dinner.
During two days of BMQ, less than 50% of healthier meal entrée options were selected by recruits. In fact, the healthier entrées were not popular at breakfast and lunch, increasing in popularity at dinner.
Significance to Dietetics
These findings offer an opportunity to develop strategies to help recruits make healthier food choices during BMQ to support optimal mental and physical performance.
Funded by
Prof. Isabelle Giroux’s Research Fund and National Defense StratJ4 Foodservices

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