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Food and the Games

Food plays a crucial role in sustaining and defining the sporting body, but the significance of food in the Olympics goes well beyond the physical. Food plays a vital part in constructing identities and cultural boundaries and is central to economic and environmental issues raised by the Games. In an Olympic context, food provides a rich field for analysis of historical and contemporary conception and maintenance of the elite sporting body, as well as of the intercultural mega-event itself. These pages offer historical and contemporary sources on the history and politics of sports nutrition, the presence of food in and around the event, the role of food in the economy of the Olympics and sponsorship controversies surrounding the Olympic movement.

Dreaming of jelly babies: English Channel swimming & the challenges & comforts of food

jelly babies[10KB]

Dr Karen Throsby of the University of Warwick describes her English Channel swim and talks about the joys of sugar for the endurance athlete.

The sporting body & the science of nutrition

man on a pig [10KB]

Given the centrality of diet for the contemporary athlete, the relative newness of nutritional science is surprising. Sports nutrition, a subset of nutritional science, is the study and application of nutrition and diet in relation to athletic performance.

Sport & nutrition bibliography

books[10KB]

A general bibliography of sport and nutrition publications in the British Library's collection.

Help us to provide a research legacy for the London Olympics

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Social sciences at the British Library

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