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Fit Minded College Edition: Pilot test of a magazine-based discussion group on physical activity in female college freshmen

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Objective: Fewer than 50% of female college freshmen meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. Innovative approaches that help college women increase their PA are warranted. The study purpose was to pilot test a magazine-based discussion group for improving PA, self-worth, and

Objective: Fewer than 50% of female college freshmen meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. Innovative approaches that help college women increase their PA are warranted. The study purpose was to pilot test a magazine-based discussion group for improving PA, self-worth, and nutrition behaviors in freshmen college females. Method: Thirty-seven women (18-20 years) were randomized to intervention (n=17) and control (n=20) groups. The intervention group participated in an 8-week magazine-based discussion group adapted from a previously tested social cognitive theory based intervention, Fit Minded. Excerpts from a popular women's health magazine were discussed during weekly meetings incorporating PA, self-worth and nutrition education. The control group did not attend meetings, but received the magazines. Outcomes and feasibility measures included: self-reported PA, general self-worth, knowledge self-worth, self-efficacy, social support, and daily fruits, vegetables, junk food, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. Results: Twelve participants from the intervention group attended more than 75% of meetings. A time effect was observed for PA (p=0.001) and family social support (p=0.002). Time x group effects were observed for PA (p=0.001), general self-worth (p=0.04), knowledge self-worth (p=0.03), and daily sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (p=0.03), with the intervention group reporting greater increases in PA, general self-worth and knowledge self-worth and greater decreases in daily sugar-sweetened beverage consumption. Although not significant, the intervention group demonstrated positive trends in self-efficacy, friend social support and fruit and veggie consumption as compared to the control group. Conclusion: A magazine-based discussion group may provide a promising platform to improve PA, self-worth and nutrition behaviors in female college freshmen.

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2014-05

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The Balancing Act of Working Mothers: A Deeper Look into Women Pursuing Medical Careers

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The intent of this thesis was to explore current literature to further understand the work environments of medical fields and the obstacles that are unique to women pursuing medical careers. It is acknowledged that a significant glass ceiling exists for

The intent of this thesis was to explore current literature to further understand the work environments of medical fields and the obstacles that are unique to women pursuing medical careers. It is acknowledged that a significant glass ceiling exists for women in medical fields, specifically areas such as academia and surgery. Thus, the research is focused on determining explanations for a lack of women in said medical specialties, as well as understanding the source of the obstacles women face in medicine. This study was designed to obtain a general background from a literature review and then, to compare and supplement the findings with in-depth interviews of females in a variety of medical careers. From the literature review and the interviews, it was confirmed that the largest area of inequality women in medical fields faced was struggling to balance work and personal life, specifically motherhood. Furthermore, the knowledge gained from the literature review and interviews provided a framework for suggesting possible solutions to help women successfully balance a professional medical career and a personal life.

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2013-05

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Dietary Mushrooms and Decreased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Case Study Approach to Validating an Experimental Design

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary killer of Americans. As such, alternative means of a dietary approach to preventing or mitigating the development of CVD is clearly needed in addition to the ongoing recommendation for increased consumption of fruits

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary killer of Americans. As such, alternative means of a dietary approach to preventing or mitigating the development of CVD is clearly needed in addition to the ongoing recommendation for increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Many studies suggest that fungi have the potential to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with CVD. Specifically, white button mushrooms, viz., Agaricus bisporus, are fairly common and inexpensive and full of untapped possibilities for efficacy although much additional research is needed. With antioxidants, e.g., selenium, and beta-glucans, viz., indigestible polysaccharides, white button mushrooms contain a plethora of bioactive ingredients that confer a potentially strong tool against the debilitating social impact of CVD.
The objective of this thesis was to establish protocols and a valid experimental design for testing whether dietary mushrooms could, in fact, be protective against CVD risk. Specifically, a case-study approach was used to validate this experimental method to test white button mushrooms and their impact on blood lipid levels and the inflammatory response. This dietary study involved preparation of two soups: a placebo, broth-based soup and one with one cup of white button mushrooms per cup of soup to provide one and a half cups of soup (and mushrooms) per day to each participant. The soup was prepared in The Kitchen Café at the ASU Downtown Campus (Phoenix, AZ).
After preparing the soup, the next goal was recruitment through listserv, local advertisements, flyers, and word of mouth of participants to test the overall plan. Over fifteen people responded; however, only one candidate met the inclusion criteria of someone at high risk of developing CVD and agreed to participate in the study. The participant visited the nutrition laboratory in downtown Phoenix (550 N. 5th Street). Anthropometric data and an initial blood draw were completed, and fourteen 1.5 cup containers of mushroom soup were dispensed to the participant. After two weeks, the individual returned and the same procedures were executed to include anthropometry and blood analysis. Even though the subject did not show changes in blood markers of CVD risk (lipids and inflammatory markers), the hypothesis for the thesis that the study design would be effective was accepted. Thus, the procedure was successful and validated and will be used in the future study.

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2013-05