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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: DIETARY INFLUENCES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTION IN CHILDREN

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

2010 Annual Report


1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Determine the influence of dietary factors on growth, physiological, psychological and cognitive development and functioning in children (from infancy through childhood). The overall goals of this study are to: 1) evaluate the effects of infant diet (breast-milk, dairy- and soy-based formulas, and monosaccharide supplemented formula) on physiological, behavioral, and cognitive development in infants and children; 2) determine the effects of diet composition, meal patterns, and meal frequency on brain function and behavioral dynamics that are important for learning and school performance in well-characterized normal and overweight school children; and 3) characterize neurocognitive function that contributes to or is a consequence of obesity in children, including brain-function correlates of food-seeking behavior.


1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Children (infants, toddlers, and school-aged youths) will be studied longitudinally to evaluate the effects of infant diet (specifically, breast-milk, dairy- and soy-based formulas, and monosaccharide supplemented formula) on physiological, behavioral and cognitive development in infants and children. Nutritional status assessments, anthropometric measurements, urine and blood analysis, and measures of psychological, neuropsychological, and cognitive measures will be obtained and analyzed. The effects of diet composition, meal patterns, and meal frequency on brain function and behavioral dynamics that are important for learning and school performance in normal and overweight school children will be assessed using validated survey instruments and state-of-the-art research equipment. Neurocognitive function will be characterized that contributes to or is a consequence of obesity in children, including brain-function correlates of food-seeking behavior.


3. Progress Report
Socio-economic status is a major source of health inequalities. Lower socio-economic status has been associated with increased prevalence of overweight and obesity, and related diseases. To devise interventions aimed at reducing health inequalities, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms underlying differences in health behaviors. The aim of this study was to identify individual, social, and environmental contributors (mechanisms) to individual and area differences in leisure-time physical activity across socio-demographic groups. Participants completed two surveys six months apart including questions on leisure-time physical activity participation and its potential individual, social, and environmental determinants. This study suggests that in order to increase physical activity participation in the more disadvantaged segments of the population, comprehensive interventions targeting activity-related attitudes and skills as well as social and physical environments are needed.


4. Accomplishments


Review Publications
Jing, H., Gilchrist, J.M., Badger, T.M., Pivik, R.T. 2010. A longitudinal study of differences in electroencephalographic activity among breastfed, milk formula-fed, and soy formula-fed infants during the first year of life. Early Human Development. 86(1):119-125.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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