Despite the global popularity of sport, we know surprisingly little about food in sports settings. This two-phased study analysed the foods available in New Zealand sports settings. Phase one included a systematic literature review and 18 interviews with key informants from national and regional sporting organizations. Phase two involved 37 key informant interviews with stakeholders from two exemplar sports, rugby and netball and direct observations at netball and rugby venues. This study found most foods and beverages at New Zealand sports events were energy-dense and nutrient-poor. Caterers’ control over food provision, socio-cultural attitudes which view unhealthy foods as normal, and a dominant profit motive, appear to be the key factors influencing the food environment in sports settings. Food environments in sport settings provide frequent opportunities to purchase and consume energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. The research shows we have competing players in the sports context—unhealthy food and healthy physical activity. Achieving sustainable healthy change in sports settings will be challenging when the prevailing attitude normalizes the unhealthy environment. Nutrition policies in sports clubs are urgently needed to increase the availability of healthy food. This requires support from health agencies and leadership from national sports organizations. Given the international nature of the food industry and sport, these findings from New Zealand may assist other countries to better understand the nature of food in sport and adopt appropriate interventions to reduce the obesogenic environment that is sport.

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