Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Factors Affecting Healthful Eating Among Touring Popular Musicians and Singers

Erin Cizek, Patrick Kelly, Kathleen Kress, Mildred Mattfeldt-Beman
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 31 Number 2: Page 63 (June 2016)

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Abstract: Maintaining good health is essential for touring musicians and singers. The stressful demands of touring may impact food choices, leading to detrimental effects on health and performance. This exploratory pilot study aimed to assess factors affecting healthful eating of touring musicians and singers. A 46-item survey was used to assess food- and nutrition-related attitudes, knowledge and behaviors, and environmental factors, as well as lifestyle, musical background, and demographic data. Participants (n=35) were recruited from a musicians¿ assistance foundation as well as touring musical theater productions and a music festival. Results indicate that touring musicians and singers had positive attitudes regarding healthful foods. Of 35 respondents, 80.0% indicated eating healthful food was important to them. Respondents reported feeling confident selecting (76.5%) and preparing (82.4%) healthful foods; however, they showed uncertainty when determining if carbohydrate-containing foods should be consumed or avoided. Respondents indicated environmental factors including availability and cost of healthy food options and tour schedules limited access to healthful foods. Venues (73.5%), fast food restaurants (67.6%), and airports (64.7%) were the most frequently identified locations in need of offering more healthful food choices. Respondents (52.9%) indicated more support from others while touring would help them make healthier food choices. More research is needed to develop mobile wellness programs as well as performance-based nutrition guidelines for musicians and singers that address the unique demands associated with touring.

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