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Assisted Cycling Improves Cognitive and Motor Functioning in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examines cognitive and motor function in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to three groups consisting of an assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., exercise accomplished through the use

This study examines cognitive and motor function in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to three groups consisting of an assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., exercise accomplished through the use of a motor), a voluntary cycling (VC) (self-selected cadence), and a no cycling (NC) control group. Both ACT and VC groups rode a stationary bicycle for three 30-minute sessions a week, for a total of eight weeks. Participants completed cognitive testing that assessed information processing and manual dexterity at the beginning and at the end of the 8-week intervention. Consistent with our hypothesis, the results showed that information processing and manual dexterity improved following 8 weeks of cycling for the ACT group. These results were not seen for individuals in the voluntary and non-exercise groups. Our results suggest that assisted cycling therapy may induce permanent changes in the prefrontal cortex in adolescents with DS.

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2015-05

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Evaluating Changes in the Gut Microbial Composition, Diet, and Overall Health in Children in the Nutrition and Health Awareness Program

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In the United States, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased to 17% in the general population and even more so in the Hispanic pediatric population to 22.4%. These children are at a higher risk for associated comorbidities, including cardiovascular

In the United States, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased to 17% in the general population and even more so in the Hispanic pediatric population to 22.4%. These children are at a higher risk for associated comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. The purpose of the following study is to determine the effectiveness of the Nutrition and Health Awareness curriculum at reducing childhood obesity by evaluating alterations in the gut microbial composition, diet, and overall health of the students throughout the five-week program. Nutrition and Health Awareness (NHA) is a student organization that strives to reduce the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, specifically in children, by providing active nutrition education services through peer mentoring in elementary schools and community programs. This study went through ASU's Institutional Review Board process and all forms were translated into Spanish. The control group maintained their normal routines and the experimental group received the 5 week NHA program and then continued with their normal routines. Anthropometric measures (Body Mass Index, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure), diet measures (Hispanic food frequency questionnaire), fecal swabs, and content surveys were collected on weeks 0, 5, and 8. Contrary to expected, alpha diversity, kilocalorie intake, and macronutrient intake decreased as the study progressed for both the control and experimental groups. Anthropometric measurements were relatively stable. Though not statistically significant, the greatest difference in time points is between weeks 1 and 8. This decrease in alpha diversity and kilocalorie intake could be due to a change in environment since the children started school on week 8. Future implications of this study are that parental involvement is necessary for an effective, sustainable change in these children. More research in different settings is necessary to determine NHA's effectiveness

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Date Created
2016-05

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Social Media Strategies to Increase Likes on Instagram

Description

Many individuals are not following healthy lifestyles as evidenced by the high obesity rates and poor physical activity levels. Many do not know how to eat healthy and exercise effectively, especially given busy schedules and no time to cook or

Many individuals are not following healthy lifestyles as evidenced by the high obesity rates and poor physical activity levels. Many do not know how to eat healthy and exercise effectively, especially given busy schedules and no time to cook or go to the gym. However, people do spend a significant amount of time on their mobile device using social media. This outlet can potentially be used to inspire and teach individuals how to cook healthy simple meals, or find motivation to get off the couch for some exercise. In this study, strategies were identified that would increase the comments, likes, and followers of the investigator's Instagrams, which were designed to motivate followers to live a healthier lifestyle. Initially, 462 posts were assessed retrospectively to determine how the number of likes and comments were influenced by hashtags, category of posts (nutrition, fitness, or inspiration), and/or type of app, PicPlayPost, Instaframe, and the updated Instagram. These results were used in a 1-month prospective study to increase likes and followers to the investigator's Instagrams. In the retrospective study, it was determined that hashtags influenced the number of comments and likes across the categories and that the PicPlayPost app increased the likes in all categories. Hence, for the prospective study, the investigator wrote 1 nutrition and 1 fitness post daily for 28 days using a minimum of 15 hashtags per post. In addition, 3 nutrition posts and 3 fitness posts per week used the PicPlayPost app. This posting strategy increased the number of likes per post by 100%, and the number of followers increased from 369 to 1082 in one month. Interestingly, the nutrition posts received 27% more likes than the fitness posts, and the PicPlayPost app increased comments by 134%. In conclusion, the use of hashtags, PicPlayPost, and Instaframe apps increased the likes and comments on social media. These strategies may increase audience's attention on a certain topic and be used to improve individuals' lifestyles.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Effects of a 12-week Lifestyle Intervention on Self-efficacy, Social Support, and Physical Activity in Obese Latino Adolescents

Description

Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Latino youth and can be seen with an increase incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. This increase in obesity can be attributed to physical inactivity. Increases in social support and self-efficacy are

Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity has disproportionately affected Latino youth and can be seen with an increase incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. This increase in obesity can be attributed to physical inactivity. Increases in social support and self-efficacy are independently related to increases in physical activity. A lifestyle intervention can lead to increases in social support, self-efficacy and physical activity. Objective/Hypothesis: The objective of this study was to determine whether a 12-week lifestyle intervention could increase social support, self-efficacy and physical activity in obese Latino adolescents that participated in the intervention. It was hypothesized that adolescents that participated in the intervention would increase self-efficacy, social support from family and friends, and physical activity compared to their control counterparts. Study Design/Participants: In a randomized control trial, there were 125 Latino (n= 60 experimental group; n= 65 control group; mean age = 15.17 +- 1.65 Males n = 60; n = 65 females) participants included in this study. Participants were also required to have a BMI percentile >= 95th percentile for age and gender or BMI >= 30 kg/m2. Methods: The intervention, which was developed using the Social Cognitive Theory had components focusing on social support and self-efficacy and also consisted of nutrition education classes and physical activity sessions for 12 weeks. The psychosocial constructs of self-efficacy and social support were measured using the Adolescent Self-Efficacy for Diet and Activity Behaviors and Adolescent Social Support for Diet and Exercise Survey, respectively. Physical activity was assessed by the 3-day Physical Activity Recall. Results: We found significant increases in social support in family (p = 0.042) and vigorous physical activity (p = 0.001). There was also a significant difference between control and treatment group for moderate to vigorous physical activity after the intervention (p = 0.027). There were no changes in social support from friends or self-efficacy. Conclusion: We concluded that a 12-week lifestyle intervention did lead to changes in social support and physical activity behaviors. These changes could have been influenced by the intervention as they were measured these constructs pre/post intervention.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Assessing Diet Through Pictures; Compared to Traditional Methods

Description

Problem: Overweight and obesity are global issues. There are several strategies for weight loss and maintenance as well as general lifestyle change for overall better health. The goal is to find an easy and convenient way for people to track

Problem: Overweight and obesity are global issues. There are several strategies for weight loss and maintenance as well as general lifestyle change for overall better health. The goal is to find an easy and convenient way for people to track their food intake, either for personal use and improvement, or to be used by professionals such as registered dietitians to gather data and help improve diet. Currently food journals, food frequency questionnaires and 24-hour recall are methods that are used by registered dietitians to get an idea of what is general diet is like from their patients or clients. It was proposed that pictures taken of the meal with a phone could be used as a method of recording food intake. It would be quick and extremely easy on the client; then everything from portion size, to type of food and toppings could be analyzed quickly and conveniently. If effective it could also give rise to the ability for foods to be analyzed immediately with the text or email of the picture. Methods: subjects already participating in a separate study where they were instructed to take pictures of their meals for a difference purpose were recruited. There recorded diet intake with phone pictures were able to be used from seven subjects. Subjects took a snapshot of their meals for 3 separate days and also logged on and completed a 24 hour recall with the ASA website. The pictures were analyzed and food intake, based off the pictures was entered in the program Food Processor to generate a nutritional report. The results from the ASA 24 hour recall, based on what the subject entered, were compared to the nutritional report, generated based on review of the pictures. Nutrient values that were compared include: total energy intake (calories), protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamin C, calcium and fiber. This was done to test if the pictures could be used as a valid source. Results: It was found that there were several problems with using the pictures as a method of analyzing food intake. Out of the seven subjects the result of only one subject was close between the two methods. All other results of calculated nutrient intake varied significantly and it did not prove to be effective to use pictures to analyze food intake. Conclusions: food intake recorded by picture method may prove to be useful in the future, however there would need to be greater compliance and training on picturing food that can be accurately analyzed. Short written explanation of food type and cooking method etc. would be most beneficial to include with actual picture. Pictures of food intake may be useful in other professional areas but as of now are not useful to generate nutritional reports.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Is daily activity and exercise related to physical fitness, obesity, and mental health in adolescents with Down syndrome?

Description

The aim of this study is to understand the relationship among physical fitness, leisure-time activity levels, measures of body composition, and assessments of emotion toward physical activity in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). This is important because it could hel

The aim of this study is to understand the relationship among physical fitness, leisure-time activity levels, measures of body composition, and assessments of emotion toward physical activity in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). This is important because it could help individuals understand the importance of physical activity in this population. The BMI, waist circumference, height, weight, body fat percentage, and non-exercise estimation of aerobic capacity along with the temporary state of emotion toward physical activity of thirty participants with DS were measured. The results of our study show that individuals with DS who are more physically fit have less body fat and a lower BMI. They also took part in more leisure-time activity and expressed more effort during physical activity.

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Date Created
2013-05

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The Effects of a High-Fat Diet on Diet-Induced Thermogenesis in Cold-Stressed Rats: A Pilot Study

Description

Obesity is a rising problem in the country today, and countless efforts have been made to achieve long-term weight loss. Recent research indicates that through the manipulation of Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) activity within the body, weight loss can be

Obesity is a rising problem in the country today, and countless efforts have been made to achieve long-term weight loss. Recent research indicates that through the manipulation of Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) activity within the body, weight loss can be achieved. The goal of this experiment was to understand the effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) on BAT activity and diet-induced thermogenesis in cold-stressed rats. It was predicted that the HFD would stimulate BAT activity and this would then drive up thermogenic activity to promote weight loss. Diet-induced thermogenesis was predicted to increase during the HFD phase of this experiment as the body would require more energy to digest the more calorically dense food. Upon arrival at six weeks of age, the rats were started on a low-fat diet (LFD) ad libitum for three weeks. They were then transitioned into a HFD ad libitum for the next 8 weeks. Throughout the experiment, the rats were maintained in a cold-stressed environment at 22°C. It was determined that one of the rats was identified as obesity prone, while the other three rats were obesity resistant based on the rate of weight gain and caloric intake. Obesity can decrease metabolism in the body for many reasons, yet it was not seen in this experiment that the obesity prone rat demonstrated decreased metabolism in comparison to the others. Based on the differences seen in the reference temperatures and the BAT temperatures, it was determined that the BAT was active throughout both the LFD and HFD phases. However, the BAT did not rise significantly during the HFD period as expected. More research is indicated with a larger sample size to determine if BAT activity does continue to increase during a HFD as a result of diet-induced thermogenesis.

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Date Created
2016-12