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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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Date Created
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 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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Date Created
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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Date Created
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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Date Created
2013

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Meat consumption, moral foundations and ecological behaviors among college students

Description

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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Date Created
2013

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Eating in the absence of hunger in college students

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The body is capable of regulating hunger in several ways. Some of these hunger regulation methods are innate, such as genetics, and some, such as the responses to stress and to the smell of food, are innate but can be

The body is capable of regulating hunger in several ways. Some of these hunger regulation methods are innate, such as genetics, and some, such as the responses to stress and to the smell of food, are innate but can be affected by body conditions such as BMI and physical activity. Further, some hunger regulation methods stem from learned behaviors originating from cultural pressures or parenting styles. These latter regulation methods for hunger can be grouped into the categories: emotion, environment, and physical. The factors that regulate hunger can also influence the incidence of disordered eating, such as eating in the absence of hunger (EAH). Eating in the absence of hunger can occur in one of two scenarios, continuous EAH or beginning EAH. College students are at a particularly high risk for EAH and weight gain due to stress, social pressures, and the constant availability of energy dense and nutrient poor food options. The purpose of this study is to validate a modified EAH-C survey in college students and to discover which of the three latent factors (emotion, environment, physical) best predicts continual and beginning EAH. To do so, a modified EAH-C survey, with additional demographic components, was administered to students at a major southwest university. This survey contained two questions, one each for continuing and beginning EAH, regarding 14 factors related to emotional, physical, or environmental reasons that may trigger EAH. The results from this study revealed that the continual and beginning EAH surveys displayed good internal consistency reliability. We found that for beginning and continuing EAH, although emotion is the strongest predictor of EAH, all three latent factors are significant predictors of EAH. In addition, we found that environmental factors had the greatest influence on an individual's likelihood to continue to eat in the absence of hunger. Due to statistical abnormalities and differing numbers of factors in each category, we were unable to determine which of the three factors exerted the greatest influence on an individual's likelihood to begin eating in the absence of hunger. These results can be utilized to develop educational tools aimed at reducing EAH in college students, and ultimately reducing the likelihood for unhealthy weight gain and health complications related to obesity.

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Date Created
2013

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Vitamin C is not related to resting fat oxidation in healthy, non-obese adults

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ABSTRACT Vitamin C plays an important role in fatty acid metabolism because it is required for carnitine synthesis. Vitamin C has been shown to have an inverse relationship with weight and body fat percent in a number of studies. However,

ABSTRACT Vitamin C plays an important role in fatty acid metabolism because it is required for carnitine synthesis. Vitamin C has been shown to have an inverse relationship with weight and body fat percent in a number of studies. However, there has been limited research exploring the relationship between vitamin C status and fat oxidation. This cross-sectional study investigates the relationship between plasma vitamin C and fat oxidation in 69 participants and between plasma vitamin C and body fatness in 82 participants. Participants were measured for substrate utilization via indirect calorimetry while at rest and measured for body fatness via DEXA scan. Participants provided a single fasting blood draw for analysis of plasma vitamin C. Results did not show a significant association between vitamin C and fat oxidation while at rest, therefore the data do not support the hypothesis that vitamin C status affects fat oxidation in a resting state. However, a significant inverse association was found between vitamin C and both total body fat percent and visceral fat.

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Date Created
2014

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iPhone applications and improvement in weight and health parameters: a randomized controlled trial

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Dietary counseling from a registered dietitian has been shown in previous studies to aid in weight loss for those receiving counseling. With the increasing use of smartphone diet/weight loss applications (app), this study sought to investigate if an iPhone diet

Dietary counseling from a registered dietitian has been shown in previous studies to aid in weight loss for those receiving counseling. With the increasing use of smartphone diet/weight loss applications (app), this study sought to investigate if an iPhone diet app providing feedback from a registered dietitian improved weight loss and bio-markers of health. Twenty-four healthy adults who owned iPhones (BMI > 24 kg/m2) completed this trial. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three app groups: the MyDietitian app with daily feedback from a registered dietitian (n=7), the MyDietitian app without feedback (n=7), and the MyPlate feedback control app (n=10). Participants used their respective diet apps daily for 8-weeks while their weight loss, adherence to self-monitoring, blood bio-markers of health, and physical activity were monitored. All of the groups had a significant reduction in waist and hip circumference (p<0.001), a reduction in A1c (p=0.002), an increase in HDL cholesterol levels (p=0.012), and a reduction in calories consumed (p=0.022) over the duration of the trial. Adherence to diet monitoring via the apps did not differ between groups during the study. Body weight did not change during the study for any groups. However, when the participants were divided into low (<50% of days) or high adherence (>50% of days) groups, irrespective of study group, the high adherence group had a significant reduction in weight when compared to the low adherence group (p=0.046). These data suggest that diet apps may be useful tools for self-monitoring and even weight loss, but that the value appears to be the self-monitoring process and not the app specifically.

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Date Created
2014