Why Personal Trainers Shouldn’t Give Nutrition Advice

Qualified fitness trainers certainly know how to do a workout correctly, but do they know what we should be eating? Should they be giving nutrition advice?

You don’t have to go too deep into social media to find a personal trainer offering both fitness programs AND “Personalised Diet Plans” – sounds like a winning combo, but is it?

So how much nutrition knowledge do trainers really have?

A group of researchers from the University of Sydney decided to find out! They invited 161 fitness trainers, 36 dietitians and 357 members of the public to take a questionnaire for the purpose of determining expertise in nutrition.

The study aimed to see where the nutritional knowledge of trainers ranked compared to dietitians and the general public.

The gender, education level and age of all participants was also taken into account.

The trainers recorded significantly lower scores than the dietitians in 3 of 4 parts – they had a similar number of correct answers in a section about healthy food choices. When it came to the general public, they only scored higher when it came to understanding nutrient content.

Another interesting finding is that trainers with an undergraduate degree in exercise science didn’t achieve better scores than those without such a degree

This is an incredibly important finding considering the amount of trainers offering nutrition advice as part of their programs.

While the idea of a one-stop-shop for both diet and exercise sounds appealing, at the end of the day, you’re not going to go to a dietitian to learn how to pull off the perfect squat are you?

Read the full study here.

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