This study examined differences in diet, particularly vegetarian and vegan, among ultramarathon and other long distance runners. Participants who had completed a half- (HALF), full- (FULL), or ultramarathon (ULTRA) in the past 12 months were recruited to complete an online survey assessing current diet, reason for diet, and other dietary behaviors. A total of 422 participants completed the survey (n = 125 ULTRA, n = 152 FULL, n = 145 HALF). More ULTRA participants were men (63%) (vs. FULL (37%) and HALF (23%)) and ULTRA participants reported significantly more years of running (16.2 ± 13.6) than FULL (12.1 ± 11.1, p < .05) or HALF (10.6 ± 11.6, p < .05). Body mass index (self-reported height/weight) was significantly higher in HALF (24.3 ± 4.4 kg/m2) vs. FULL (23.1 ± 3.2 kg/m2, p < .05). ULTRA runners were almost twice as likely to report following a vegan/vegetarian diet than HALF and FULL marathoners combined (B = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.08, 3.48) and reported following their current diet longer (13.7 ± 15.3 years) than HALF participants (8.6 ± 12.1 years, p = .01). ULTRA participants more commonly cited environmental concerns whereas HALF and FULL participants cited weight loss or maintenance as a reason for following their current diet. There was no difference in diet quality between ULTRA and other runners but vegan and vegetarian runners had higher diet quality scores than nonvegetarian runners (p < .001). The findings point to an interconnectedness between long distance running, diet, and diet choice and can help guide nutrition, exercise, and psychology professionals who are working with distance runners.
Gabrielle M. Turner-McGrievy, Wendy J. Moore, and Daheia Barr-Anderson
Dan J. Graham, Katherine W. Bauer, Sarah Friend, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, and Dianne Nuemark-Sztainer
Physical activity (PA) declines sharply and rapidly during adolescence, especially among girls, posing a risk for inactivity and obesity in adulthood. This study identified personal, behavioral, and socioenvironmental correlates of concurrent and 6-month longitudinal PA among adolescent girls.
Data were gathered from 356 adolescent girls (mean age 15.8 ± 1.2 years; > 75% racial/ethnic minorities) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in 2007–2009. Linear regression analyses controlling for age, race/ethnicity, and school were conducted predicting baseline and follow-up levels of total PA and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) assessed via 3-Day Physical Activity Recall. Models were fit for each correlate individually and for all correlates together, mutually adjusted.
For concurrent PA, significant positive predictors when adjusting for the influence of all other variables included self-efficacy, support from friends and teachers, and friends’ PA. Total screen time and distance from school to PA resources related inversely to concurrent PA. In mutually-adjusted models, 6-month PA was positively related to self-worth, family support, and parent PA and inversely related to total screen time.
PA interventions with adolescent girls might be enhanced by involving adolescents’ social networks and also by helping adolescents feel better about their self-worth and athletic abilities.
Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Katherine W. Bauer, Peter J. Hannan, Mary Story, and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer
Little is known about adolescent girls’ accuracy of perception of physical activity (PA) opportunities in their neighborhood. Furthermore, few studies have explored whether proximity to PA opportunities is associated with girls’ recent use. Participants included 356 high school girls enrolled in New Moves, a school-based physical activity intervention. Objective proximity to neighborhood PA opportunities was assessed using Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Girls self-reported their perceived proximity to resources and recent use of these opportunities. Girls’ perceived proximity of distance to a park, walking/biking trail, and recreational center was associated with recent use of these resources (P = .02, P < .001, P < .001, respectively), whereas associations were not found with objective measures of distance. Both perceived and objective proximity were associated with recent use of a private fitness facility (P = .006 and P = .002, respectively). Perceived proximity to neighborhood PA opportunities is associated with use of those resources among adolescent girls. Increasing awareness of neighborhood opportunities could be a viable method to increasing PA.
Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Melissa N. Laska, Sara Veblen-Mortenson, Kian Farbakhsh, Bonnie Dudovitz, and Mary Story
The aim of this study was to promote physical activity in 6th graders by developing and testing the feasibility of an enhanced Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) program comprised of a peer leadership component and innovative exercise resource toolkit including DVDs.
A racially/ethnically diverse sample of students received the standard PALA program (2 control schools, n = 61) or enhanced PALA+Peers program (2 intervention schools, n = 87) during 2006–2007 academic year.
Compared with the control condition, the intervention was successful in increasing moderate physical activity in all students (P = .02) and moderate and hard physical activity among girls (P = .03 and P = .04, respectively). Teachers and students reported a high level of satisfaction and receptivity with the intervention. All teachers thought the DVDs were well-received, and 87% of students reported that they would recommend the enhanced program to peers.
Coupling peer leadership and DVDs that promote physical activity may be an effective way to increase youth physical activity.
Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Ramona Robinson-O’Brien, Jess Haines, Peter Hannan, and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer
Parent-report and child perception of familial support for weight-related behaviors may not be congruent. This research explores whether parent-report or child perception is more strongly associated with child-reported physical activity and television (TV) use.
Elementary school children (n = 73) participating in Ready. Set. ACTION!, a theater-based obesity prevention pilot program in Saint Paul, MN, and their parents completed surveys assessing familial support for physical activity and limitations on TV use in fall 2006. Paired t tests examined congruency between parent-report and child perception. Linear regression models adjusted for sociodemographics explored the associations between familial support and child-reported behavior.
Levels of agreement between parent-report and child perception for support for physical activity and limitations on TV use were approximately 70%. Compared with parent-report for physical activity support, child perception was more strongly associated with child physical activity (β = .17, P = .02). Neither parent-report nor child perception for support for limitations on TV use was associated with child TV use.
Although parent-report and child perception of familial support for physical activity and to limit TV use were similar, child perception was more strongly associated with child physical activity behavior. More research, probably qualitative, is needed to examine how parents and children define and perceive parental support.
Carrie D. Patnode, Leslie A. Lytle, Darin J. Erickson, John R. Sirard, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, and Mary Story
While much is known about the overall levels of physical activity and sedentary activity among youth, few studies have attempted to define clusters of such behaviors. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe unique classes of youth based on their participation in a variety of physical activity and sedentary behaviors.
Latent class analysis was used to characterize segments of youth based on patterns of self-reported and accelerometer-measured participation in 12 behaviors. Children and adolescents (N = 720) from 6th-11th grade were included in the analysis. Differences in class membership were examined using multinomial logistic regression.
Three distinct classes emerged for boys and girls. Among boys, the 3 classes were characterized as “Active” (42.1%), “Sedentary” (24.9%), and “Low Media/Moderate Activity” (33.0%). For girls, classes were “Active” (18.7%), “Sedentary” (47.6%), and “Low Media/Functional Activity” (33.7%). Significant differences were found between the classes for a number of demographic indicators including the proportion in each class who were classified as overweight or obese.
The behavioral profiles of the classes identified in this study can be used to suggest possible audience segments for intervention and to tailor strategies appropriately.
Erica Y. Lau, Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Marsha Dowda, Melinda Forthofer, Ruth P. Saunders, and Russell R. Pate
This study examined associations of various elements of the home environment with after-school physical activity and sedentary time in 671 6th-grade children (Mage = 11.49 ± 0.5 years). Children’s after-school total physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, and sedentary time were measured by accelerometry. Parents completed surveys assessing elements of the home social and physical environment. Mixed-model regression analyses were used to examine the associations between each element of the home environment and children’s after-school physical activity and sedentary time. Availability of home physical activity resources was associated positively with after-school total physical activity and negatively with after-school sedentary time in boys. Parental support was associated positively with after-school total physical activity and MVPA and negatively with after-school sedentary time in girls. The home physical environment was associated with boys’ after-school physical activity and sedentary time, whereas the home social environment was associated with girls’ after-school physical activity and sedentary time.