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Almond consumption and weight loss in obese and overweight adults

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Nut consumption, specifically almonds, have been shown to help maintain weight and influence disease risk factors in adult populations. Limited studies have been conducted examining the effect of a small dose of almonds on energy intake and body weight. The

Nut consumption, specifically almonds, have been shown to help maintain weight and influence disease risk factors in adult populations. Limited studies have been conducted examining the effect of a small dose of almonds on energy intake and body weight. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of pre-meal almond consumption on energy intake and weight in overweight and obese adults. In this study included 21, overweight or obese, participants who were considered healthy or had a controlled disease state. This 8-week parallel arm study, participants were randomized to consume an isocaloric amount of almonds, (1 oz) serving, or two (2 oz) cheese stick serving, 30 minutes before the dinner meal, 5 times per week. Anthropometric measurements including weight, waist circumference, and body fat percentage were recorded at baseline, week 1, 4, and 8. Measurement of energy intake was self-reported for two consecutive days at week 1, 4 and 8 using the ASA24 automated dietary program. The energy intake after 8 weeks of almond consumption was not significantly different when compared to the control group (p=0.965). In addition, body weight was not significantly reduced after 8 weeks of the almond intervention (p=0.562). Other parameters measured in this 8-week trial did not differ between the intervention and the control group. These data presented are underpowered and therefore inconclusive on the effects that 1 oz of almonds, in the diet, 5 per week has on energy intake and bodyweight.

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2011

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Community supported agriculture membership: characterizing food and sustainability behaviors

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Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of the typical CSA member and motivations and barriers to join a CSA program. The purpose of this study was to examine whether behavior and attitudinal differences existed between current CSA members and a nonmember control group. Specifically, ecological attitudes, eating out behaviors, composting frequency, and family participation in food preparation were assessed. This study utilized an online survey comprising items from previous survey research as well as newly created items. A total of 115 CSA member and 233 control survey responses were collected. CSA members were more likely to be older, have more education, and have a higher income than the control group. The majority of CSA members surveyed were female, identified as non-Hispanic and Caucasian, earned a higher income, and reported being the primary food shopper and preparer. The majority of members also noted that the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables they ate and served their family increased as a result of joining a CSA. CSA members were more ecologically minded compared to the control group. Frequency of eating out was not significantly different between groups. However, eating out behaviors were different between income categories. CSA members spent significantly more money at each meal eaten away from home and spent significantly more money on eating out each week. In both cases, controlling for income attenuated differences between groups. CSA members composted at a significantly higher rate and took part in other eco-friendly behaviors more often than the control group. Finally, no significant difference was evident between the two groups when analyzing family involvement in food preparation and meal decision-making. Overall, some significant attitudinal and behavioral differences existed between CSA members and non-CSA members. Further research is necessary to examine other distinctions between the two groups and whether these differences occur as a result of CSA membership.

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2011

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The indices of bone changes in response to exercise

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The gold standard for bone measurement is DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry). Typically, to observe changes in bone by DXA, a minimum of a 4-month intervention is required. Serum osteocalcin (OST) (a bone formation marker) and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of

The gold standard for bone measurement is DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry). Typically, to observe changes in bone by DXA, a minimum of a 4-month intervention is required. Serum osteocalcin (OST) (a bone formation marker) and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the calcaneus can be used as indicators of bone change but the sensitivity and time course of these indices to short term interventions are unknown. The purpose of this study was twofold: to compare monthly changes in OST and QUS in response to jump training and to evaluate the relationship between DXA, OST and QUS. Young women with QUS t-scores less than 1.0 were randomized into a jump training (J) (n=16) or control (C) (n=16). J consisted of a progressive routine of 1 and 2-footed jumping performed 3 days per week for 4 months. Body composition, QUS and OST were measured at baseline, and monthly for 4 months. DXA and 24-hour dietary recalls were completed at baseline and 4 months. Low attrition rate (12.5%) and high compliance (98%) with the exercise intervention was recorded. No significant correlations between QUS and OST existed. No significant differences were observed between groups at baseline in body composition or bone variables. Monthly increases in OST were observed but there were no significant differences over time between groups in any bone variables. OST and QUS may be indicative of short term bone changes but these variables were not specifically sensitive to the jumping intervention in this population of women.

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2011

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Almond consumption and dietary compensation in overweight and obese adults

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ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies have suggested a link between nut consumption and weight. The possible effects of regular nut consumption as a method of weight loss has shown minimal results with 2-3 servings of nut products per day. This 8 week

ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies have suggested a link between nut consumption and weight. The possible effects of regular nut consumption as a method of weight loss has shown minimal results with 2-3 servings of nut products per day. This 8 week study sought to investigate the effect of more modest nut consumption (1 oz./day, 5 days/week) on dietary compensation in healthy overweight individuals. Overweight and obese participants (n = 28) were recruited from the local community and were randomly assigned to either almond (NUT) or control (CON) group in this randomized, parallel-arm study. Subjects were instructed to eat their respective foods 30 minutes before the dinner meal. 24 hour diet recalls were completed pre-trial and at study weeks 1, 4 and 8. Self-reported satiety data were completed at study weeks 1, 4, and 8. Attrition was unexpectedly high, with 13 participants completing 24 dietary recall data through study week 8. High attrition limited statistical analyses. Results suggested a lack of effect for time or interaction for satiety data (within groups p = 0.997, between groups p = 0.367). Homogeneity of of inter-correlations could not be tested for 24-hour recall data as there were fewer than 2 nonsingular cell covariance matrices. In conclusion, this study was unable to prove or disprove the effectiveness of almonds to induce dietary compensation.

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2011

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The efficacy of nopales (Opuntia spp) on lipoprotein profile and oxidative stress among moderately hypercholesterolemic adults

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Background: Evidence about the purported hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) is limited. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of nopales for improving cardiometabolic risk factors and oxidative stress, compared to control, in adults with hypercholesterolemia. Design:

Background: Evidence about the purported hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of nopales (prickly pear cactus pads) is limited. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of nopales for improving cardiometabolic risk factors and oxidative stress, compared to control, in adults with hypercholesterolemia. Design: In a randomized crossover trial, participants were assigned to a 2-wk intervention with 2 cups/day of nopales or cucumbers (control), with a 2 to 3-wk washout period. The study included 16 adults (5 male; 46±14 y; BMI = 31.4±5.7 kg/m2) with moderate hypercholesterolemia (low density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-c] = 137±21 mg/dL), but otherwise healthy. Main outcomes measured included: dietary intake (energy, macronutrients and micronutrients), cardiometabolic risk markers (total cholesterol, LDL-c, high density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-c], triglycerides, cholesterol distribution in LDL and HDL subfractions, glucose, insulin, homeostasis model assessment, and C-reactive protein), and oxidative stress markers (vitamin C, total antioxidant capacity, oxidized LDL, and LDL susceptibility to oxidation). Effects of treatment, time, or interactions were assessed using repeated measures ANOVA. Results: There was no significant treatment-by-time effect for any dietary composition data, lipid profile, cardiometabolic outcomes, or oxidative stress markers. A significant time effect was observed for energy, which was decreased in both treatments (cucumber, -8.3%; nopales, -10.1%; pTime=0.026) mostly due to lower mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids intake (pTime=0.023 and pTime=0.003, respectively). Both treatments significantly increased triglyceride concentrations (cucumber, 14.8%; nopales, 15.2%; pTime=0.020). Despite the lack of significant treatment-by-time effects, great individual response variability was observed for all outcomes. After the cucumber and nopales phases, a decrease in LDL-c was observed in 44% and 63% of the participants respectively. On average LDL-c was decreased by 2.0 mg/dL (-1.4%) after the cucumber phase and 3.9 mg/dL (-2.9%) after the nopales phase (pTime=0.176). Pro-atherogenic changes in HDL subfractions were observed in both interventions over time, by decreasing the proportion of HDL-c in large HDL (cucumber, -5.1%; nopales, -5.9%; pTime=0.021) and increasing the proportion in small HDL (cucumber, 4.1%; nopales, 7.9%; pTime=0.002). Conclusions: These data do not support the purported benefits of nopales at doses of 2 cups/day for 2-wk on markers of lipoprotein profile, cardiometabolic risk, and oxidative stress in hypercholesterolemic adults.

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2013

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Selenium supplementation and cardiovascular outcome markers in hemodialysis patients: a randomized, controlled trial

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Background Hemodialysis (HD) patients elicit an oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in addition to a selenium deficiency, possibly contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Objective To evaluate the effect of selenium supplementation on CVD outcomes and antioxidant status in HD patients. Design A

Background Hemodialysis (HD) patients elicit an oxidant-antioxidant imbalance in addition to a selenium deficiency, possibly contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Objective To evaluate the effect of selenium supplementation on CVD outcomes and antioxidant status in HD patients. Design A randomized controlled intervention trial conducted from October 2012 to January 2013. Participants/setting The study included 27 maintenance HD patients (61.1+17.5y, 14M, 13F) receiving HD in the greater Phoenix, AZ area. Intervention Patients received one of three treatments daily: 2 Brazil nuts, (5g, 181µg/day of selenium as selenomethionine [predicted]), 1 tablet of selenium (200µg/day of selenium as selenomethionine), or control (3 gummy bears). Main outcome measures Antioxidant status outcome measures included total antioxidant capacity, vitamin C, and RBC and plasma glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px). CVD outcomes measures included brain natriuretic peptide; plasma cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, low density lipoprotein, triglycerides; blood pressure, and thoracic cavity fluid accumulation. Statistical analyses performed Repeated measures ANOVA analyzed changes over time and between groups at months 0 and 2 and months 0 and 3. Results Independent analysis showed the Brazil nuts provided 11µg of selenium/day and the pill provided 266µg of selenium/day. Consequently, the Brazil nut group was combined with the placebo group. 21 patients completed 2 months of the study and 17 patients completed the study in its entirety. Data was analyzed for months 0, 1 and 2. No significant differences were noted for antioxidant status outcome measures with the exception of plasma GSH-Px. Patients receiving the selenium pill had a significant increase in plasma GSH-Px compared to the placebo group (6.0+11 and -4.0+7.6, respectively, p=0.023 for change between month 0 and month 2). No significant differences were seen in total antioxidant capacity or for CVD outcome measures over time or between groups. Conclusions These data indicate that selenium supplementation increased plasma GSH-Px concentration in HD patients; however, oxidative stress was not altered by selenium supplementation. The low vitamin C status of HD patients warrants further research, specifically in conjunction with selenium supplementation.

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2013

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The relationship between food insecurity and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress in parents living in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

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Objectives Through a cross-sectional observational study, this thesis evaluates the relationship between food insecurity and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress as it relates to predominantly Hispanic/Latino parents in Phoenix, Arizona.

Objectives Through a cross-sectional observational study, this thesis evaluates the relationship between food insecurity and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress as it relates to predominantly Hispanic/Latino parents in Phoenix, Arizona. The purpose of this study was to address gaps in the literature by examining differences in "healthy" and "unhealthy" eating behaviors, foods available in the home, how time and low energy impact meal preparation, and the level of stress between food security groups. Methods Parents, 18 years or older, were recruited during two pre-scheduled health fairs, from English as a second language classes, or from the Women, Infants, and Children's clinic at a local community center, Golden Gate Community Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. An interview, electronic, or paper survey were offered in either Spanish or English to collect data on the variables described above. In addition to the survey, height and weight were collected for all participants to determine BMI and weight status. One hundred and sixty participants were recruited. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models, adjusting for weight status, education, race/ethnicity, income level, and years residing in the U.S., were used to assess the relationship between food security status and weight status, eating behaviors, the home food environment, meal planning and preparation, and perceived stress. Results Results concluded that food insecurity was more prevalent among parents reporting lower income levels compared to higher income levels (p=0.017). In adjusted models, higher perceived cost of fruits (p=0.004) and higher perceived level of stress (p=0.001) were associated with food insecurity. Given that the sample population was predominately women, a post-hoc analysis was completed on women only. In addition to the two significant results noted in the adjusted analyses, the women-only analysis revealed that food insecure mothers reported lower amounts of vegetables served with meals (p=0.019) and higher use of fast-food when tired or running late (p=0.043), compared to food secure mothers. Conclusion Additional studies are needed to further assess differences in stress levels between food insecure parents and food insecure parents, with special consideration for directionality and its relationship to weight status.

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2014

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Arizona foodshed: estimating capacity to meet fresh fruit and vegetable consumption needs of the Arizona population

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Fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption continues to lag far behind US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations. Interventions targeting individuals' dietary behaviors address only a small fraction of dietary influences. Changing the food environment by increasing availability of and excitement for

Fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption continues to lag far behind US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations. Interventions targeting individuals' dietary behaviors address only a small fraction of dietary influences. Changing the food environment by increasing availability of and excitement for FV through local food production has shown promise as a method for enhancing intake. However, the extent to which local production is sufficient to meet recommended FV intakes, or actual intakes, of specific populations remains largely unconsidered. This study was the first of its kind to evaluate the capacity to support FV intake of Arizona's population with statewide production of FV. We created a model to evaluate what percentage of Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations, as well as actual consumption, state-level FV production could meet in a given year. Intake and production figures were amended to include estimates of only fresh, non-tropical FV. Production was then estimated by month and season to illustrate fluctuations in availability of FV. Based on our algorithm, Arizona production met 184.5% of aggregate fresh vegetable recommendations, as well as 351.9% of estimated intakes of Arizonans, but met only 29.7% of recommended and 47.8% of estimated intake of fresh, non-tropical fruit. Much of the excess vegetable production can be attributed to the dark-green vegetable sub-group category, which could meet 3204.6% and 3160% of Arizonans' aggregated recommendations and estimated intakes, respectively. Only minimal seasonal variations in the total fruit and total vegetable categories were found, but production of the five vegetable sub-groups varied between the warm and cool seasons by 19-98%. For example, in the starchy vegetable group, cool season (October to March) production met only 3.6% of recommendations, but warm season (April to November) production supplied 196.5% of recommendations. Results indicate that Arizona agricultural production has the capacity to meet a large proportion of the population's FV needs throughout much of the year, while at the same time remaining a major producer of dark-green vegetables for out-of-state markets.

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2013

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Factors associated with the accuracy of parental perception of their child's body weight status: the New Jersey Childhood Obesity Study

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Objectives: Although childhood obesity has received growing attention, parents still fail to recognize overweight and obesity in their children. Accurate identification of overweight or obesity in their child is associated with the parent's responsiveness to interventions aimed at preventing weight-related

Objectives: Although childhood obesity has received growing attention, parents still fail to recognize overweight and obesity in their children. Accurate identification of overweight or obesity in their child is associated with the parent's responsiveness to interventions aimed at preventing weight-related health issues. Recent research shows that a child's age and gender are associated with parental misperception of their child's weight status, but little is known about the interaction of these factors across various age groups. This study examined the association between a wide range of parent, child, and household factors and the accuracy of parental perception of their child's body weight status compared to parent-measured body weight status. Methods: Data were collected from a random-digit-dial telephone survey of 1708 households located in five low-income New Jersey cities with large minority populations. A subset of 548 children whose parents completed the survey and returned a worksheet of parent-measured heights and weights were the focus of the analysis. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the factors significantly associated with parental perception of their child's body weight status. Results: Based on parent-measure heights and weights, 36% of the children were overweight or obese (OWOB). Only 21% of OWOB children were perceived by their parents as OWOB. Child gender, child body mass index (BMI) and parent BMI were significant independent predictors of parents' accuracy at perceiving their child's body weight status. Conclusion: Boys, OWOB children, and children of OWOB parents had significantly greater odds of parental underestimation of their body weight status. Parents had better recognition of OWOB in their daughters, especially older daughters, than in their sons, suggesting parental gender bias in identifying OWOB in children. Further research is needed regarding parental gender bias and its implications in OWOB identification in children.

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2013

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Meat consumption, moral foundations and ecological behaviors among college students

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In recent years, overall consumption of meat products has been decreasing, and at the same time vegetarianism is on the rise. A variety of factors are likely driving changes in consumers' attitudes towards, and consumption of, meat products. Although concern

In recent years, overall consumption of meat products has been decreasing, and at the same time vegetarianism is on the rise. A variety of factors are likely driving changes in consumers' attitudes towards, and consumption of, meat products. Although concern regarding animal welfare may contribute to these trends, growing consumer interest in the roles that production and processing of meat play in terms of environmental degradation could also impact individuals' decisions about the inclusion of meat in their diets. Because these factors could be related to moral attitudes as well, the purpose of this study was to explore the relations among meat consumption, general environmental attitudes, and moral `foundations' of decision-making, including concern about minimizing `harm' and maximizing `care,' as well as issues of `purity' and `sanctity.' A survey was conducted among current college students using the New Ecological Paradigm scale and the Moral Foundations Questionnaire to assess environmental and moral attitudes. A food frequency questionnaire was used to assess meat consumption. Multiple linear regression analyses explored the relations of environmental and moral attitudes with meat consumption, controlling for potential confounding variables. The results showed no significant correlations among meat consumption, environmental attitudes or moral foundations of harm/care and purity/sanctity.

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2013