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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BEHAVIORAL PATHWAYS OF BIOLOGICAL INFLUENCES ON ENERGY BALANCE

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The long-term objective of this project is to develop improved understanding of how genes influence obesity-related behaviors through experiences of food intake and physical activity, and whether these experiences mediate the gene to behavior relationships. We will focus on the following objectives that will be studied concurrently within the same experiments. Objective 1: Determine the extent to which relationships between appetite-related genetic factors and dietary intake are mediated by subjective feelings of hunger, satiety, and other psychosocial variables in children. Subobjective 1A: Generate a questionnaire that assesses food and physical activity related experiences in middle school students. Subobjective 1B: Test whether food and physical activity related experiences mediate the gene to dietary intake and physical activity relationships. Objective 2: Determine the extent to which relationships between activity-related genetic factors and physical activity are mediated by subjective feelings of enjoyment and related psychosocial variables in children.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Children's Nutrition Research Center researchers will conduct a literature review of possible experiential aspects of genes in regard to diet and physical activity (e.g., satiety, enjoyment of physical activity). Knowledge gained from these reviews will permit the researchers to conduct focus group discussions to generate items that reflect these possible gene experiences, and convert the statements to items in a questionnaire. Our scientific team will conduct cognitive interviewing with children to ensure the items are understood by the children. We will distribute the questionnaires for completion by large numbers of children on which to conduct the psychometric analyses. The accretion of adiposity among 3rd and 4th grade students over the summer will be studied. The above questionnaires and the genetic variables will be used, and associated relationships will be evaluated.


3.Progress Report

During FY11, we entered into negotiations with research investigators who control a cohort of Hispanic families with children in Houston to reduce overall research costs by collecting our psychosocial measures with an already recruited sample and using their banked tissues for conducting the genetic analysis of obesity related genes. Additionally, we have other projects ongoing. We published the major outcomes from the Diab-Nano trial in which treatment group children increased their consumption by two thirds of a serving of fruit and vegetables per day. We reported formative research for the Food Intake Recording Software System, a web based 24-hour dietary recall for children. We submitted a manuscript from the Wii Active Video Game Experiment which showed no public health benefit from having active video games available. We also completed formative research and submitted an application to further develop a casual video game to train parents of 3- to 5-year olds in the use of effective vegetable parenting.

The ADODR monitors project activities by visits, review of purchases of equipment, review of ARS-funded foreign travel, and review of ARS funds provided through the SCA.


Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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