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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

2021 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
Objectives 1 – 4: Scientists in Grand Forks, North Dakota, are determining the impact of consuming a Dietary Guidelines for Americans diet and engaging in Physical Activity Guidelines amounts of exercise on physical health. That is, what are the health benefits that adults will receive if they adhere to the dietary and physical activity guidelines promoted by the U.S. Government? This human study research project has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, sosScientists in Grand Forks, North Dakota, with consultation from the National Program Leader, developed revised plans to accomplish Project 3062-51000-057-00D Dietary and Physical Activity Guidance for Weight Loss and Maintenance. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for the revised protocol. ARS researchers in Grand Forks, North Dakota, are participating in the ARS Grand Synergies project ‘Beef Systems Grand Challenge’. Scientists are analyzing hundreds of samples from research projects to evaluate how breed and management strategies impact the nutritional quality of beef. ARS scientists in Grand Forks, North Dakota, have analyzed hundreds of cattle hair, serum, and feces samples to understand the relationship between beef stress and beef quality and have analyzed seaweed samples to understand how consumption of different varieties of seaweed by cattle reduce ruminant methane production. 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 and contribute to our understanding of the role of beef cattle production on climate change. ARS researchers in Grand Forks, North Dakota, are laying the fundamental groundwork for the nutrition component of the Healthy Soils, Healthy Foods, Healthy People initiative in collaboration with ARS scientists in Fargo, North Dakota, and Mandan, North Dakota. This initiative will result in enhanced farming methods and food processing methods for improving the nutritional quality of foods.

1. Get moving for your health. Exercise is important for overall health. Still most people are not active enough to get this benefit. So, it is important to design programs that increase the motivation to be more active. ARS scientists in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and researchers at the University at Buffalo tested different types of workout routines to find out which one would get people to be more active. They found that exercising harder in short bouts was better at keeping people active. Short bouts of exercise at high intensities increased their ability to keep exercising. Even after it got tough to keep going. This finding is important for long -erm health.

2. Motivating Americans to eat their vegetables. The health benefits of eating vegetables are well known. Still most people do not eat enough vegetables. It is important to understand how to get people to eat more vegetables. ARS scientists in Grand Forks, North Dakota, tested if eating more vegetables increased the desire to keep eating them. Adults were given vegetables for 8 weeks. They picked which vegetables they wanted to eat each week. But their choices had to meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Scientists found that eating vegetables every day did not increase the desire to keep eating them. It also did not increase their liking. These findings show how hard it is to get adults to eat the recommended types and amounts of vegetables.

Review Publications
Casperson, S.L., Jahns, L., Temple, J.L., Appleton, K., Roemmich, J.N. 2021. Consumption of a variety of vegetables to meet dietary guidelines for Americans’ recommendations does not induce sensitization of vegetable reinforcement among adults with overweight and obesity: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 151:1665-1672.
Casperson, S.L., Conrad, Z., Raatz, S., Derner, J.D., Roemmich, J.N., Jahns, L.A., Picklo, M.J. 2020. Impact of beef consumption on saturated fat intake in the United States adult population: Insights from modeling the influences of bovine genetics and nutrition. Meat Science. 169. Article e108225.
De Leon, A., Roemmich, J.N., Casperson, S.L. 2020. Identification of barriers to adherence to a weight loss diet in women using the nominal group technique. Obesity. 12:3750.
Epstein, L.H., O’Donnell, S., Biondillio, M., Hostler, D., Roemmich, J.N. 2021. Comparing the reinforcing value of high intensity interval training versus moderate intensity aerobic exercise in sedentary adults. Physiology and Behavior. 238. Article 113468.
Smith, K.E., O'Connor, S., Mason, T.B., Wang, S., Dzubur, E., Crosby, R.D., Wonderlich, S.A., Salvy, S., Feda, D.M., Roemmich, J.N. 2021. Associations between objective physical activity and emotional eating among adiposity-discordant siblings using ecological momentary assessment and accelerometers. Pediatric Obesity. 16. Article 12720.
Ufholz, K.E., Salvy, S., Feda, D., Epstein, L., Roemmich, J.N. 2020. Weight discordant siblings’ ability to reduce energy intake at a meal as compensation for prior energy intake from sugar sweetened beverages. Journal of Nutrition and Health.
Smith, K., Mason, T., O'Connor, S., Wang, S., Dzubur, E., Crosby, R., Wonderlich, S.A., Salvy, S., Feda, D.M., Roemmich, J.N. 2020. Bi-directional associations of affect and physical activity in adolescents using ecological momentary assessment: Moderation by weight. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 46:443-453.
Abildso, C.G., Daily, S.M., Umstattd Meyer, M., Edwards, M.B., Jacobs, L., Mcclendon, M., Perry, C.K., Roemmich, J.N. 2021. Environmental factors associated with physical activity in rural US counties. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.