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ARS Home » Plains Area » Grand Forks, North Dakota » Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center » Healthy Body Weight Research » Research » Research Project #435947

Research Project: Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance

Location: Healthy Body Weight Research

2020 Annual Report

Objective 1: Determine the efficacy of a DGA-style diet combined with DGA-recommended exercise, as well as individual differences on alterations of physiological and psychological factors associated with successful weight loss and maintenance. Sub-objective 1A: Determine whether consumption of the DGA weight loss diet will produce a greater reduction in CLGI than weight loss when reducing calories with the Western diet. Sub-objective 1B: Determine whether consumption of the eucaloric DGA diet will produce a greater reduction in CLGI than the eucaloric Western diet. Sub-objective 1C: Determine whether executive function training will reduce impulsive responses to, valuation of, and attention for energy-dense foods. Sub-objective 1D: Determine whether executive function training will result in greater weight loss maintenance over 6 months than usual follow-up care. Objective 2: Test individual differences in the efficacy of dietary intake patterns and exercise to promote healthy metabolic and ingestive behavioral responses. Sub-objective 2A: Determine the independent and synergetic effects of diet and PAGA-recommended amounts of physical activity on metabolic flexibility. Sub-objective 2B: Determine the association between dopamine (DA) release as measured by electroretinography (ERG) and food reinforcement. Objective 3: Determine the relationships among exercise, dietary intake, inflammation, fitness, and behavior motivation. Objective 4: Determine the role of fat mass, fat-free mass, resting metabolism (RMR), and cellular signals on behavior motivation and appetite control.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), which include the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAGA), is the primary U.S. government resource for weight control. We propose that chronic, low-grade inflammation (CLGI) limits weight control by acting upon physiological and behavioral factors that moderate weight control. Diet and exercise reduce CLGI and provide weight control, but no one has investigated the efficacy of the DGA and PAGA to reduce CLGI, whether reduced CLGI promotes greater weight control, and the moderating roles of physiological and behavioral factors on the association of reduced CLGI with weight control. This study will test DGA- and PAGA-induced changes in CLGI and weight control. We will also determine the relation of change in CLGI with changes in novel putative physiological (metabolic rate, cell signaling molecules) and behavioral (food and exercise reinforcement, executive function) factors on the association of reduced CLGI that moderate weight control efficacy. To accomplish this, we will conduct a 9-month trial in 224 obese adults; a 3-month controlled feeding trial with four dietary treatment arms; 1) DGA with weight loss, 2) Western diet with weight loss, 3) DGA diet weight maintenance, 4) Western diet weight maintenance. Each dietary arm will have PAGA-recommended exercise and non-exercise arms. Post-trial is a 6-month weight maintenance period with participants randomized into executive function training intervention or control. The results will inform the DGA and PAGA; thereby helping clinicians, public health workers, and policymakers to improve the health of Americans.

Progress Report
Scientists in Grand Forks, North Dakota have commenced Project 3062-51000-057-00D Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance that continues research from Project 3062-51000-051-00D Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance. Progress was made on all four objectives. Regarding Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4, the dietary and exercise interventions for the human study were developed and Institutional Review Board approval obtained. Regarding Sub-objective 2A, concerning the measurement of metabolic flexibility using whole-room calorimetry that will be completed on a subset of subjects participating in the larger study, the protocol was developed, and Institutional Review Board approval obtained. Scientists are also determining the differences in release of signaling molecules from fat cells (adipokines) and muscle cells (myokines) in exercise-trained and untrained adults following low- and high-intensity exercise. The clinical trial was developed, Institutional Review Board approval obtained, and the study initiated with two participants completing the required treatments before being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This research will aid in determining how exercise-induced myokine and adipokine secretion influences the chronic low-grade inflammation that promotes cardiovascular and other diseases. While participating in the ARS Beef Grand Challenge, scientists are analyzing hundreds of samples to evaluate how breed and management strategies impact the nutritional quality of beef. This research required the development of novel, high-throughput analytical techniques and data handling. Data analysis of these data are currently underway. This research will benefit beef producers and consumers. In collaborative research within the unit and across the research center computer modeling techniques are being used to analyze the potential impacts of consuming beef from different genotypes raised in distinct management and environment combinations on human health.

1. Eating enough protein at every meal decreases odds of functional disability. Functional capacity is associated with quality of life, health, and mortality. Given our rapidly growing aging population, preserving functional capacity is a public health priority. Strategic intake of dietary protein has demonstrated promise for preventing functional disability during aging. Scientists at Grand Forks, North Dakota, in collaboration with scientists at North Dakota State University demonstrated that eating at least 1.0 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight daily and distributing the protein evenly across all eating occasions decreases the odds for functional disability up to 61% - depending on the number of eating occasions containing a moderate amount of protein. These results provide healthcare providers evidence-based targeted dietary interventions to preserve functional capacity in their older adult patients.

2. Increasing the motivation to exercise in overweight adults. Most adults do not meet the physical activity guidelines adopted by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Increasing the desire to exercise would foster adherence to the guidelines and improve the health of Americans. Scientists at Grand Forks, North Dakota, prescribed overweight sedentary adults an exercise training program that expended either 300 or 600 calories per exercise session, 5 day a week, for 12 weeks and found that the 600-calorie exercise prescription had a greater effect on the motivating nature of exercise (exercise reinforcement). Developing a tolerance for the discomfort felt during exercise was predictive of increases in exercise reinforcement. This investigation provides some of the first data on the psychological and behavioral adaptations necessary to increase the motivation to be physically active in overweight adults.

3. Active video games to promote traditional active play. Active video game play may act as a transition to traditional active play by increasing children’s motivation to play traditional active games. Yet, it is equally possible that rather than increasing traditional active play, children exposed to active video games may increase the motivation to play sedentary video games. Scientists at Grand Forks, North Dakota, determined whether active video game play promoted motivation to engage in traditional active game play or sedentary video games. Encouraging results were found in that active video game play did not increase motivation towards sedentary video games and the motivation to engage in traditional activity play relative to active video games increased after playing active video games for six weeks. These results provide novel information regarding how to increase the physical activity of inactive children in that providing inactive children with active video games may be used to increase their motivation to engage in traditional active play.

Review Publications
De Leon, A., Burnett, D.J., Rust, B.M., Casperson, S.L., Horn, W.F., Keim, N.L. 2020. Liking and acceptability of whole grains increases with a six-week exposure but preferences for foods varying in taste and fat content are not altered: a randomized controlled trial. Current Developments in Nutrition. 4(3).
McGrath, R., Stastny, S., Casperson, S.L., Jahns, L.A., Roemmich, J.N., Hackney, K. 2019. Daily protein intake and distribution of daily protein consumed decreases odds for functional disability in older Americans. Journal of Aging and Health.
Flack, K.D., Ufholz, K., Johnson, L., Roemmich, J.N. 2019. Increasing the reinforcing value of exercise in overweight adults. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.
Flack, K., Pankey, C., Ufholz, K.E., Roemmich, J.N. 2019. Genetic variations in the dopamine reward system influence exercise reinforcement and tolerance for exercise intensity. Behavioural Brain Research.
Larson, K.J., Alvine, T., Wu, D., Kalupahana, N., Moustaid-Mouss, N., Roemmich, J.N. 2020. Nutrients and immunometabolism: Role of macrophages. Journal of Nutrition.
Ufholz, K.E., Flack, K., Johnson, L., Roemmich, J.N. 2019. Active video games to promote traditional active play: Increasing the reinforcing value of active play among low-active children. The Games for Health Journal: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications.
Strahm, A., Bagne, A., Rued, H., Larson, K.J., Roemmich, J.N., Hilmert, C. 2020. Prenatal traumatic stress and offspring hair cortisol concentration: A nine year follow up to the Red River Flood Pregnancy Study. Psychoneuroendocrinology.
De Leon, A., Jahns, L.A., Casperson, S.L. 2020. Barriers and facilitators to following the dietary guidelines for vegetable intake: Follow-up of an intervention to increase vegetable intake. Food Quality and Preference.
Larson, K.J., Bundy, A.N., Roemmich, J.N. 2020. Paternal high fat diet and exercise regulate sperm miRNA and histone methylation to modify placental inflammation, nutrient transporter mRNA expression, and fetal weight in a sex-dependent manner. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
Pinoniemi, B., Tomkinson, G., Walch, T., Roemmich, J.N., Fitzgerald, J. 2020. Temporal trends in the standing broad jump performance of United States children and adolescents. Research Quarterly for Exercise And Sport.