Matching Items (3)

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Type 2 diabetes and obesity: a biological, behavioral, and environmental context

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of diabetes (29.1 million) cases and manifests in 15-30% of prediabetes (86 million) cases,

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of diabetes (29.1 million) cases and manifests in 15-30% of prediabetes (86 million) cases, where 9 out of 10 individuals do not know they have prediabetes. Obesity, observed in 56.9% of diabetes cases, arises from the interactions among genetic, biological, environmental, and behavioral factors that are not well understood. Assessing the strength of these links in conjunction with the identification and evaluation of intervention strategies in vulnerable populations is central to the study of chronic diseases. This research addresses three issues that loosely connect three levels of organization utilizing a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. First, the nonlinear dynamics between insulin, glucose, and free fatty acids is studied via a hypothesis-based model and validated with bariatric surgery data, demonstrating key metabolic factors for maintaining glucose homeostasis. Second, the challenges associated with the treatment or management, and prevention of diabetes is explored in the context of an individualized-based intervention study, highlighting the importance of diet and environment. Third, the importance of tailored school lunch programs and policies is studied through contagion models developed within a social ecological framework. The Ratatouille Effect, motivated by a pilot study among PreK-8th grade Arizona students, is studied and exposes the importance of institutionalizing practical methods that factor in the culture, norms, and values of the community. The outcomes of this research illustrate an integrative framework that bridges physiological, individual, and population level approaches to study type 2 diabetes and obesity from a holistic perspective. This work reveals the significance of utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods to better elucidate underlying causes of chronic diseases and for developing solutions that lead to sustainable healthy behaviors, and more importantly, the need for translatable multilevel methodologies for the study of the progression, treatment, and prevention of chronic diseases from a multidisciplinary perspective.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Individual differences in taste perception and bitterness masking

Description

The unpleasant bitter taste found in many nutritious vegetables may deter people from consuming a healthy diet. We investigated individual differences in taste perception and whether these differences influence the

The unpleasant bitter taste found in many nutritious vegetables may deter people from consuming a healthy diet. We investigated individual differences in taste perception and whether these differences influence the effectiveness of bitterness masking. To test whether phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) `supertasters' also taste salt and sugar with greater intensity, as suggested by Bartoshuk and colleagues (2004), we infused strips of paper with salt water or sugar water. The bitterness rating of the PTC strip had a significant positive linear relationship with ratings of both the intensity of sweet and salt, but the effect sizes were very low, suggesting that the PTC strip does not give a complete picture of tasting ability. Next we investigated whether various seasonings could mask the bitter taste of vegetables and whether this varied with tasting ability. We found that sugar decreased bitterness and lemon decreased liking for vegetables of varying degrees of bitterness. The results did not differ by ability to taste any of the flavors. Therefore, even though there are remarkable individual differences in taste perception, sugar can be used to improve the initial palatability of vegetables and increase their acceptance and consumption.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Effect of number of food pieces on food selection and consumption in animals and humans

Description

There are several visual dimensions of food that can affect food intake, example portion size, color, and variety. This dissertation elucidates the effect of number of pieces of food on

There are several visual dimensions of food that can affect food intake, example portion size, color, and variety. This dissertation elucidates the effect of number of pieces of food on preference and amount of food consumed in humans and motivation for food in animals. Chapter 2 Experiment 1 showed that rats preferred and also ran faster for multiple pieces (30, 10 mg pellets) than an equicaloric, single piece of food (300 mg) showing that multiple pieces of food are more rewarding than a single piece. Chapter 2 Experiment 2 showed that rats preferred a 30-pellet food portion clustered together rather than scattered. Preference and motivation for clustered food pieces may be interpreted based on the optimal foraging theory that animals prefer foods that can maximize energy gain and minimize the risk of predation. Chapter 3 Experiment 1 showed that college students preferred and ate less of a multiple-piece than a single-piece portion and also ate less in a test meal following the multiple-piece than single-piece portion. Chapter 3 Experiment 2 replicated the results in Experiment 1 and used a bagel instead of chicken. Chapter 4 showed that college students given a five-piece chicken portion scattered on a plate ate less in a meal and in a subsequent test meal than those given the same portion clustered together. This is consistent with the hypothesis that multiple pieces of food may appear like more food because they take up a larger surface area than a single-piece portion. All together, these studies show that number and surface area occupied by food pieces are important visual cues determining food choice in animals and both food choice and intake in humans.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013