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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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Coupling of thermal mass with night ventilation in buildings

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Passive cooling designs & technologies offer great promise to lower energy use in buildings. Though the working principles of these designs and technologies are well understood, simplified tools to quantitatively evaluate their performance are lacking. Cooling by night ventilation, which

Passive cooling designs & technologies offer great promise to lower energy use in buildings. Though the working principles of these designs and technologies are well understood, simplified tools to quantitatively evaluate their performance are lacking. Cooling by night ventilation, which is the topic of this research, is one of the well known passive cooling technologies. The building's thermal mass can be cooled at night by ventilating the inside of the space with the relatively lower outdoor air temperatures, thereby maintaining lower indoor temperatures during the warmer daytime period. Numerous studies, both experimental and theoretical, have been performed and have shown the effectiveness of the method to significantly reduce air conditioning loads or improve comfort levels in those climates where the night time ambient air temperature drops below that of the indoor air. The impact of widespread adoption of night ventilation cooling can be substantial, given the large fraction of energy consumed by air conditioning of buildings (about 12-13% of the total electricity use in U.S. buildings). Night ventilation is relatively easy to implement with minimal design changes to existing buildings. Contemporary mathematical models to evaluate the performance of night ventilation are embedded in detailed whole building simulation tools which require a certain amount of expertise and is a time consuming approach. This research proposes a methodology incorporating two models, Heat Transfer model and Thermal Network model, to evaluate the effectiveness of night ventilation. This methodology is easier to use and the run time to evaluate the results is faster. Both these models are approximations of thermal coupling between thermal mass and night ventilation in buildings. These models are modifications of existing approaches meant to model dynamic thermal response in buildings subject to natural ventilation. Effectiveness of night ventilation was quantified by a parameter called the Discomfort Reduction Factor (DRF) which is the index of reduction of occupant discomfort levels during the day time from night ventilation. Daily and Monthly DRFs are calculated for two climate zones and three building heat capacities. It is verified that night ventilation is effective in seasons and regions when day temperatures are between 30 oC and 36 oC and night temperatures are below 20 oC. The accuracy of these models may be lower than using a detailed simulation program but the loss in accuracy in using these tools more than compensates for the insights provided and better transparency in the analysis approach and results obtained.

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2011

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Carbonate-ceramic dual-phase membranes for high temperature carbon dioxide separation

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Emission of CO2 into the atmosphere has become an increasingly concerning issue as we progress into the 21st century Flue gas from coal-burning power plants accounts for 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions. The key to successful separation

Emission of CO2 into the atmosphere has become an increasingly concerning issue as we progress into the 21st century Flue gas from coal-burning power plants accounts for 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions. The key to successful separation and sequestration is to separate CO2 directly from flue gas (10-15% CO2, 70% N2), which can range from a few hundred to as high as 1000°C. Conventional microporous membranes (carbons/silicas/zeolites) are capable of separating CO2 from N2 at low temperatures, but cannot achieve separation above 200°C. To overcome the limitations of microporous membranes, a novel ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for high temperature CO2 separation was proposed. The membrane was synthesized from porous La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-d (LSCF) supports and infiltrated with molten carbonate (Li2CO3/Na2CO3/K2CO3). The CO2 permeation mechanism involves a reaction between CO2 (gas phase) and O= (solid phase) to form CO3=, which is then transported through the molten carbonate (liquid phase) to achieve separation. The effects of membrane thickness, temperature and CO2 partial pressure were studied. Decreasing thickness from 3.0 to 0.375 mm led to higher fluxes at 900°C, ranging from 0.186 to 0.322 mL.min-1.cm-2 respectively. CO2 flux increased with temperature from 700 to 900°C. Activation energy for permeation was similar to that for oxygen ion conduction in LSCF. For partial pressures above 0.05 atm, the membrane exhibited a nearly constant flux. From these observations, it was determined that oxygen ion conductivity limits CO2 permeation and that the equilibrium oxygen vacancy concentration in LSCF is dependent on the partial pressure of CO2 in the gas phase. Finally, the dual-phase membrane was used as a membrane reactor. Separation at high temperatures can produce warm, highly concentrated streams of CO2 that could be used as a chemical feedstock for the synthesis of syngas (H2 + CO). Towards this, three different membrane reactor configurations were examined: 1) blank system, 2) LSCF catalyst and 3) 10% Ni/y-alumina catalyst. Performance increased in the order of blank system < LSCF catalyst < Ni/y-alumina catalyst. Favorable conditions for syngas production were high temperature (850°C), low sweep gas flow rate (10 mL.min-1) and high methane concentration (50%) using the Ni/y-alumina catalyst.

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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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Energy expenditure of resistance training activities in young men

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ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the energy cost of four modes of resistance training (push-ups, pull-ups, curl-ups, lunges). Twelve well trained men aged 23.6 (SD=2.84) years were recruited to participate in the study. Each

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the energy cost of four modes of resistance training (push-ups, pull-ups, curl-ups, lunges). Twelve well trained men aged 23.6 (SD=2.84) years were recruited to participate in the study. Each of the 12 men completed three trials of each of the four exercises on one visit to the laboratory lasting slightly over one hour (M=72 min, SD=5.9 min). The oxygen consumption of the men was monitored constantly throughout the trial and data was recorded every five seconds. Mean VO2 values were calculated for each exercise. The values for push-ups (M=11.57 ml/kg/min, SD=1.99), curl-ups (M=10.99 ml/kg/min, SD=1.48), pull-ups (M=10.87 ml/kg/min, SD=2.51), and lunges (M=14.18 ml/kg/min, SD=1.78) were converted to METs (Metabolic Equivalents). The MET values (3.31, 3.14, 3.11, and 4.05 respectively) all fall within the range of moderate intensity activity. The findings of this study show that a single set of any of the above exercises will qualify as a moderate intensity activity and can be used to meet recommendations on daily physical activity.

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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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Modeling and control for microgrids

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Traditional approaches to modeling microgrids include the behavior of each inverter operating in a particular network configuration and at a particular operating point. Such models quickly become computationally intensive for large systems. Similarly, traditional approaches to control do not use

Traditional approaches to modeling microgrids include the behavior of each inverter operating in a particular network configuration and at a particular operating point. Such models quickly become computationally intensive for large systems. Similarly, traditional approaches to control do not use advanced methodologies and suffer from poor performance and limited operating range. In this document a linear model is derived for an inverter connected to the Thevenin equivalent of a microgrid. This model is then compared to a nonlinear simulation model and analyzed using the open and closed loop systems in both the time and frequency domains. The modeling error is quantified with emphasis on its use for controller design purposes. Control design examples are given using a Glover McFarlane controller, gain sched- uled Glover McFarlane controller, and bumpless transfer controller which are compared to the standard droop control approach. These examples serve as a guide to illustrate the use of multi-variable modeling techniques in the context of robust controller design and show that gain scheduled MIMO control techniques can extend the operating range of a microgrid. A hardware implementation is used to compare constant gain droop controllers with Glover McFarlane controllers and shows a clear advantage of the Glover McFarlane approach.

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2013

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Transmission expansion planning for large power systems

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Transmission expansion planning (TEP) is a complex decision making process that requires comprehensive analysis to determine the time, location, and number of electric power transmission facilities that are needed in the future power grid. This dissertation investigates the topic of

Transmission expansion planning (TEP) is a complex decision making process that requires comprehensive analysis to determine the time, location, and number of electric power transmission facilities that are needed in the future power grid. This dissertation investigates the topic of solving TEP problems for large power systems. The dissertation can be divided into two parts. The first part of this dissertation focuses on developing a more accurate network model for TEP study. First, a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) based TEP model is proposed for solving multi-stage TEP problems. Compared with previous work, the proposed approach reduces the number of variables and constraints needed and improves the computational efficiency significantly. Second, the AC power flow model is applied to TEP models. Relaxations and reformulations are proposed to make the AC model based TEP problem solvable. Third, a convexified AC network model is proposed for TEP studies with reactive power and off-nominal bus voltage magnitudes included in the model. A MILP-based loss model and its relaxations are also investigated. The second part of this dissertation investigates the uncertainty modeling issues in the TEP problem. A two-stage stochastic TEP model is proposed and decomposition algorithms based on the L-shaped method and progressive hedging (PH) are developed to solve the stochastic model. Results indicate that the stochastic TEP model can give a more accurate estimation of the annual operating cost as compared to the deterministic TEP model which focuses only on the peak load.

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2013