Matching Items (6)

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Social Connectedness and Fast Food Consumption in College Freshmen

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Attending college provides young adults with a major shift in environment from high school where many students are used to living at home with their parents or guardians. Students experience

Attending college provides young adults with a major shift in environment from high school where many students are used to living at home with their parents or guardians. Students experience a newfound freedom once beginning their freshman year, especially if living in on-campus housing. Freshmen are known to gain weight during this transitory period, and this has been partially attributed to changes in eating behaviors, which makes this a population of concern. College freshmen have significant autonomy over their food choices if not living at home, due to not having parents or guardians present. In the transition to college, freshmen are able to adopt new habits, healthy or unhealthy, which could make a large impact on their health habits for the rest of their lives; this is why the freshman population is an area of concern. RESULTS: None of the relationships between social connectedness and FF consumption were found to be statistically significant. Social connectedness was not significantly related to cross-sectional FF intake at the two different phases, or longitudinally between the two phases, even after adjustments were made. Additionally, there were no gender differences present in FF consumption or social connectedness at either phase. CONCLUSION: The lack of significant findings suggest that social connectedness might not be a reason college freshmen consume FF. Students might eat with others due to the convenience of living closely to them rather than as a means to socialize. Also, factors such as time constraints and cost might have played a larger role in why students consumed FF. Future research could involve similar studies using shorter questionnaires more tailored to eating behaviors, with more detailed measures of FF consumption (e.g. What specific FF meals did you consume?) and for a longer duration of time, to allow students to become more situated in their environment and have a better knowledge of all their food options. This study was an important contribution to the sparsely researched topic of social connectedness with a large and diverse sample studied longitudinally. It was also the only study of its kind to be performed on the college population, and had potential for future health implications in obesity and chronic conditions such as hypertension and type II diabetes. Further research is warranted to evaluate the relationship between social connectedness and other eating behaviors.

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  • 2016-12

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Is it Hunger or Hormones? Association of Plasma Ghrelin Levels with Eating Behaviors and Weight Cycling History in Obese and Overweight Women

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Weight cycling (WC) is characterized by repeated bouts of weight loss followed by regain. WC has been associated with a number of adverse health consequences and is a risk factor

Weight cycling (WC) is characterized by repeated bouts of weight loss followed by regain. WC has been associated with a number of adverse health consequences and is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Body weight regulation is complex. Little is known about why women who intentionally lose weight are so likely to regain their weight back. Humans are motivated by a variety of psychological pressures as well as physiological stimuli that influence eating behaviors and weight control. One of the complex factors that has been shown to predict weight regain, in weight-reduced individuals, is hunger. Ghrelin is a known gastrointestinal hormone that rises during weight loss and is a strong trigger of hunger and increased appetite. Increased ghrelin levels have been associated with disordered eating behaviors and active weight loss. The Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ-R18) describes elements that may affect hunger and satiety. These factors are: cognitive restraint (CR, defined as regulating food intake because of weight maintenance), uncontrolled eating (UE, defined as difficulty in regulating eating), and emotional eating (EE, refers to the tendency to eat more than needed because of mood state). Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the associations of fasting plasma ghrelin with eating behaviors and weight cycling in overweight and obese women. Methods: This is a cross-sectional observation of women aged 20-60 years who completed a Weight and Lifestyle Inventory (WALI) and the TFEQ-R18. Women provided a 12-h fasting blood sample and plasma ghrelin was measured using a commercial radioimmunoassay (ELISA kit Cat# EZGRA-88k). Intra- and inter-assay CVs were 88.4% + 13.8% and 84.4% + 8.4% respectively. Descriptive data were computed and Pearson correlations were assessed adjusting for age and body weight (SPSS, v23). Results: A WC Index (WCI) was computed as number of WC reported x the amount of weight lost per cycle. 61 women (mean age: 39.3 + 11 yr; BMI: 31.4 + 7; WCI: 70 + 60; range = 0 to 253) completed questionnaires. Ghrelin was significantly and negatively correlated to weight (R= -0.25, P = 0.03), BMI (R= -0.32, P = .006), UE (R = -0.29, p = 0.02), and EE (R = -0.29, p = 0.04). Ghrelin was not significantly related to WCI. WCI was not significantly correlated with any TFEQ-18 subscales. Conclusion: In this observational study, lower ghrelin was associated with higher UE and EE. Thus physiological hunger sensations from ghrelin secretion, is not a likely stimulus of eating behavior in these women. There are a host of psychological triggers, such as stress, loneliness, guilt, anger etc. that may enhance eating. Future research will need to explore what psychological triggers influence eating behavior and why obese women are resistant to the powerful physiological hunger cues of ghrelin.

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  • 2016-05

Parental Approach to Cardiovascular Health Promotion & Prevention in Children

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Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the world today! More specifically, ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, tops the world’s most deadly disease

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the world today! More specifically, ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, tops the world’s most deadly disease and is responsible for nearly 9 million deaths every year (World Health Organization, n.d.). This paper describes a Parental Approach to Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Prevention in children. The risk factors for CVD have been well established in adults and emerging evidence underline the importance of experiences and exposures on the consequent development of CVD. The aim of this project is to highlight the importance of early intervention in childhood by promoting cardiovascular health education and prevention in children. CVD is cause by a culmination of genetic and lifestyle factors and the many risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease is divided into two categories: those which are changeable or modifiable and those that are unchangeable or non-modifiable. The earlier that parents address the modifiable risk factors, the better the child’s outcome of preventing heart disease in adulthood. Therefore, alternative means of a healthy dietary approach such as the 5-2-1-0 program in addition to exercising is extremely crucial. This paper will discuss the different preventative strategies and ways to mitigate symptoms of CVD. Therefore, I have developed a 4-step outline for cardiovascular health education and prevention strategies which parents can use when raising their children.

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  • 2020-05

Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors in relation to the Social Cognitive Theory and Time Spent Eating

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OBJECTIVE: Freshman year at college is a time in an adolescent's life marked by a large amount of change in environment, as well as a shift in peer influences. Past

OBJECTIVE: Freshman year at college is a time in an adolescent's life marked by a large amount of change in environment, as well as a shift in peer influences. Past research has shown that there are a variety of influences both personal and socio-environmental that affect weight control behaviors in college freshmen. This study examined the relationship between unhealthy weight control behaviors (UWCB) and two different personal and socio-environmental factors: time spent on each meal, and the perception that friends are partaking in UWCB. The Social Cognitive Theory was used to explain the intricate and intertwined association between the personal and socio-cognitive factors. METHOD: Unhealthy weight control behavior was assessed from first-year university students (n= 1241) living in campus dorms at Arizona State University. Demographics included Male (n=438) Female (n=802) first-year students with an average age of 17.5 years from various ethnic backgrounds. This was a secondary analysis of the devilSPARC study at Arizona State University and students completed a check-in survey upon participation. The survey asked for an estimation of time spent at meals and also asked the students to determine the individual's use of unhealthy weight control behaviors (vomiting, dieting, diet pills, steroids, substances, and protein shakes) as well as the observation of friend's participating in weight control behaviors. Students received a $15 Amazon gift card and devilSPARC swag as an incentive for participating. All participation was voluntary. RESULTS: This study found that unhealthy weight control behaviors were associated with spending more time on meals; this was relevant during the breakfast period. As well, the use of unhealthy weight control behaviors was associated with friends participating in unhealthy weight control behaviors in regards to both unhealthy weight loss and weight gain behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest both personal and socio-environmental factors affect the use of unhealthy weight control behaviors in college freshmen. Interventions for education should focus on body image and healthy weight control behaviors for college freshmen, intervening both before individuals enter college, as well as during the first year at university. This research is an important contribution to the literature, as it examines unhealthy weight control behaviors in college freshmen and the potential influences they face that lead them to develop such behaviors. Future studies should delve deeper into researching the relationship between time spent eating and weight control behaviors, as that has not been extensively studied in the literature.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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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

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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The role of close friends in adolescent obesity and related eating and activity behaviors

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Growing concern about obesity prevalence among youth has prompted the examination of socio-environmental influences that shape the development of eating and activity behaviors believed to regulate weight. Given the presumed

Growing concern about obesity prevalence among youth has prompted the examination of socio-environmental influences that shape the development of eating and activity behaviors believed to regulate weight. Given the presumed significance of close friendships during adolescence, the present investigation assessed longitudinal relations between friends' physical activity, sedentary activity, and healthy eating behaviors and explored whether friends' obesity-promoting behaviors are linked to heightened obesity risk among adolescents. This prospective study utilized two Waves of data from 862 reciprocal and 1908 nonreciprocal same-sex friend dyads participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. To account for nonindependence tied to membership in a particular friendship dyad, multi-level models were estimated for indistinguishable (i.e., reciprocal) and distinguishable (i.e., nonreciprocal) friend pairs using the Actor Partner Interdependence Model. Adolescents' self-reported physical activity and healthy eating were significantly associated with their own and their friends' physical activity and healthy eating one year later; the strength of socialization across friend dyads did not vary with the frequency of interaction between friends or the stability of friendships over time. Limited support was found for a cumulative risk model of obesity-promoting behaviors as a predictor of increased obesity risk; heightened risk for weight gain was found only for adolescents whose reciprocal same-sex friends reported a higher number of obesity-promoting eating and activity behaviors. Overall, study findings highlight the role of close friends for adolescents' obesity risk and obesity-related behaviors. Stronger evidence of socialization resulted for adolescents that perceived their friends to be salient social models, as reflected by their acknowledgement of an existing friendship with such peers (i.e., reciprocal friends and nominators within nonreciprocal friend dyads).

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Date Created
  • 2011