Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center2014 Annual Report
1) Determine the effect of an improved NSLP and SBP on the dietary intake (total day and breakfast/lunch meals) and BMI of youth ages 5-18; 2) Determine the effect of new rules on competitive foods on the dietary intake and BMI of youth; 3) determine the minimum dose of prevention required to significantly slow the rate of weight gain in Mexican-American middle school students aged 11-14 years; 4) examine the impact of dosage level on changes in health behaviors such as dietary, PA patterns, and quality of life; 5) assess and enhance the validity and reliability of Personal Activity Location Measurement System, through multiple, iterative studies to accurately measure preschool children's PA, transportation, and location; 6) identify eating patterns in children, adolescents, and adults and examine the association with obesity and related health risk factors; 7) identify barriers and facilitators to Dietary Guidelines for Americans adherence, and examine the association with BMI; 8) assess the impact of food security status on dietary intake measured using HEI-2005, among children across the different age groups, based on parent/family participation in federal food assistance programs; 9) assess the impact of food security status on costs of meals, based on costs per serving of food, nutrient density, and diet quality as measured by HEI-2005, among children across various age groups; 10) Improve validity and reliability of objective dietary assessment by combining Sun e.button system which identifies a prioritized list of likely foods and amounts consumed and at the end of the day have children use ASA24-Kids to review, verify, and correct food identity problems and portion size information from Sun e.button images; 11) improve validity and reliability of objective physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior assessment (both type and intensity) by combining Sun e.button system with accelerometers, and enable children to review and correct estimates of type of activity/sedentary behavior from Sun e.button using a simple correction recording system at the end of the day; 12) conduct formative research with parents of 8- to 10-year-old African American girls to identify beliefs, values, and practices related to diet, PA, sedentary behavior, and body weight; 13) develop and test a text message intervention for parents to test feasibility of factors identified in Obj. 12 at promoting healthy home food and activity environments; 14) develop a model of parent-child interactions in the family eating environment among low-income families, and determine what aspects of parent-child interactions foster excess calorie intake in children.
A multidimensional approach will be undertaken to address the obesity research conducted at the Children's Nutrition Research Center. In one study, nutritionists will assess changes in child dietary behaviors that occur with the new school meal regulations being implemented in 2012-2014, as well as the competitive food guidelines that will be implemented in 2014. These new regulations provide more fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods, and limit added sugar/fat foods in schools. The impact of the new school meal regulations on the dietary patterns of children at school and over the entire day will be assessed. Additionally, researchers will establish the necessary dosage level of a sustainable school-based obesity prevention program for Mexican-American adolescents, and the minimal dose of prevention associated with improved outcomes. The costs associated with the program will be identified, providing important information for schools for future implementation. Pediatricians will assess the validity of using the Personal Activity Location Measurement System (PALMS) tool to simultaneously process accelerometer-based physical activity data and GPS-based location data to identify preschool children's physical activity, transportation, and location since studies have suggested that many young children do not meet the physical activity recommendations. In another study researchers will work to understand and prevent obesity both dietary and physical activity behavior, their determinants, and their direct and indirect associations with overweight will be examined to identify barriers and facilitators to Dietary Guidelines for Americans adherence. Additionally, researchers will obtain costs of foods consumed by children, compare food costs by diet quality, nutrient density, and food security status, assess consumer behaviors from the NHANES consumer behavior questionnaire and determine the impact of food security status on consumer behaviors among children. Other research will develop a model of parent-child interactions in the family eating environment among low-income families (based on direct research observations), and determine what aspects of parent-child interactions foster excess calorie intake in children. Researchers also will utilize an electronic button that has been previously utilized in adults, to objectively assess child diet by verifying food identity and portion size as well as recording the child's physical activity levels. Qualitative research will also be performed in another study to inform intervention content, structure, and procedures in order to assess the feasibility of a culturally grounded text message based obesity prevention intervention with parents of 8-10 year old African American girls.
Project #1. Our first research objectives assess changes in child dietary behaviors that occur with the new school food regulations being implemented in 2012-2014. Information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) are being used to look at children's diets at school and at home to see if they consume more fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods. The data are being processed. For objectives 3 and 4, schools have been recruited, the intervention materials are prepared, and all staff have been trained. Recruitment of students will begin in August at the beginning of the school year. For objective 5, IRB approval has been obtained and staff are being recruited. Project #2. The research accomplishments for the past 3 months included a peer reviewed publication. The published study conducted secondary analyses using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study showed that snacking patterns of adults were not homogeneous. This study that looked at snacking patterns, diet quality, and cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) in adults generated 12 distinct snacking patterns, explaining 61% of the variance in snacking. Comparisons of snacking patterns were made to the no-snack pattern. It was found that miscellaneous snacks constituted the most common snacking pattern (17%) followed by cakes/cookies/pastries (12%) and sweets (9%). Most snacking patterns were associated with higher energy intakes. Snacking patterns cakes/cookies/pastries, vegetables/legumes, crackers/salty snacks, other grains, and whole fruit were associated with lower intakes of saturated fatty acids. Added sugars intakes were higher in the cakes/cookies/pastries, sweets, milk desserts, and soft drinks snacking patterns. Five snacking patterns (cakes/cookies/pastries, sweets, vegetable/legumes, milk desserts, soft drinks) were associated with lower sodium intakes. Several snack patterns were associated with higher intakes of potassium, calcium, fiber, vitamin A, and magnesium. Five snacking patterns (miscellaneous snacks, vegetables/legumes, crackers/salty snacks, other grains, and whole fruit) were associated with better diet quality scores. Alcohol was associated with a lower body mass index, and milk desserts were associated with a lower waist circumference. No snacking patterns were associated with other CVRF studied.
1. Getting the scoop on snacking patterns. Previous research looking at the relationship between snacking patterns, diet quality, and risk of overweight and abdominal obesity in adults were based on the assumption that snacking patterns were similar, yet this is not the case. Children's Nutrition Research Center researchers in Houston, Texas, have conducted research to better understand the complex nature of snacking patterns. Twelve snacking patterns were identified in a nationally representative population of adults, and the patterns varied in food and beverage selections and their contribution to daily intake of nutrients and diet quality. We found that certain snacking patterns (miscellaneous snacks, vegetables/legumes, crackers/salty snacks, other grains, and whole fruit) were associated with better diet quality scores. The majority of the snacking patterns were not associated with cardiovascular risk factors. More studies are needed to confirm these findings to better understand how specific snacking patterns fit within an overall healthier eating lifestyle, and education is needed to improve snacking patterns in terms of nutrients to limit in the diet along with more nutrient-dense foods to be included in snacks.