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Chia-Yuan Yu, Su-I Hou and Jonathan Miller

Background: The purposes of this study were to (1) explore the influence of social capital and leisure-time physical activity on older adults’ physical and mental health and (2) test whether these relationships varied by living arrangement. Methods: This cross-sectional study used national data from the 2013 National Health Interview Study. The subjects included 7714 adults aged 65 years or older. Logistic regressions were used to predict the probability of subjects being overweight or obese. Ordinary linear regressions were performed to predict mental health outcomes. Results: Older adults living alone were more likely to report feeling sad (alone: 1.5; with others: 1.36), hopeless (alone: 1.25; with others: 1.18), and worthless (alone: 1.22; with others: 1.15). They were also more likely to experience lower levels of social support (alone: 3.24; with others: 3.30), trust (alone: 3.34; with others: 3.44), cohesion (alone: 2.95; with others: 2.98), and enjoy less leisure-time physical activity (alone: 49.85 min; with others: 64.64 min) than those living with others. Hispanic and divorced/separated older adults who lived alone were prioritized for health intervention. Conclusions: Older adults living alone had poorer mental health, less social capital, and engaged in less frequent leisure-time physical activity. Promoting social capital could improve mental health in older adults living alone.

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Jonathan Miller, Mark Pereira, Julian Wolfson, Melissa Laska, Toben Nelson and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Background: Interventions to raise population physical activity generally show modest effects; one possible reason is that trends and determinants of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) differ between population subgroups. This study examined differences in trends and determinants of reported MVPA by ethnicity/race and sex in a 15-year longitudinal study. Methods: Participants (n = 2092) in the Project Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults study were surveyed on MVPA behavior and potential determinants from adolescence to young adulthood. Generalized estimating equations were used to model age trends in MVPA and associations with determinants. Results: Mean MVPA declined by 2.1 hours per week over 15 years of follow-up from adolescence to young adulthood. Asian males reported the lowest levels of MVPA at each age. Nonwhite females reported less MVPA than white females at each age. The association of body mass index (BMI) with MVPA differed by sex and ethnicity/race. Asian males and females showed lower levels of MVPA at both low and high BMI. Conclusions: Interventions to increase MVPA may need to begin earlier among Asian men and nonwhite women than among other groups. Asian adolescents with lower BMI show lower MVPA and may benefit from additional intervention efforts compared with Asian adolescents with normal BMI.

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Trent J. Herda, Philip M. Gallagher, Jonathan D. Miller, Matthew P. Bubak and Mandy E. Parra

Background: Skeletal muscle is overlooked in the realm of insulin resistance in children who are overweight and obese despite the fact that it accounts for the most glucose disposal. Objectives: Therefore, this study examined fasted glucose levels and muscle cross-sectional area and echo intensity (EI) via ultrasound images of the first dorsal interosseous, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris in children who are normal weight and overweight and obese aged 8–10 years. Methods: In total, 13 males (age = 9.0 [0.7] y) and 7 females (age = 9.0 [0.8] y) volunteered for this study. Independent samples t tests and effect sizes (ESs) were used to examine potential differences in skeletal muscle composition and glucose concentrations. Results: There were no significant differences between groups for glucose concentration (P = .07, ES = 0.86); however, the children who were overweight and obese had significantly greater EI (P < .01, ES = 0.98–1.63) for the first dorsal interosseous, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris and lower cross-sectional area when normalized to EI when collapsed across muscles (P < .04, ES = 0.92). Glucose concentrations correlated with EI and cross-sectional area/EI for the vastus lateralis (r = .514 to −.593) and rectus femoris (r = .551 to −.513), but not the first dorsal interosseous. Discussion: There is evidence that adiposity-related pathways leading to insulin resistance and skeletal muscle degradation are active in young children who are overweight and obese.

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Jonathan M. Miller, Mark A. Pereira, Julian Wolfson, Melissa N. Laska, Toben F. Nelson and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Background: This study tested for differences in personal, social, and environmental correlates of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) across ethnicity/race in male and female adolescents. Methods: Self-reported MVPA and 47 potential correlates of MVPA were measured in an ethnically/racially diverse cross-sectional sample of adolescents, in Minnesota, who participated in EAT-2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens). Interactions of potential correlates with ethnicity/race on MVPA were tested in linear hierarchical regression models in boys and girls. Results: Boys reported 1.7 more weekly hours of MVPA than girls. White adolescents reported 1.1 to 2.1 more weekly hours of MVPA than nonwhite adolescents. Among girls, neighborhood road connectivity was negatively correlated with MVPA among Hispanic and Asian participants. Among boys, sports participation was positively correlated with MVPA among all ethnicities/races, except Asians. Home media equipment was positively correlated with MVPA among Hispanic boys, but negatively correlated among white boys. Conclusions: A few correlates of physical activity among adolescents differed intersectionally by ethnicity/race and sex. Sports participation and home media equipment may have differing impacts on physical activity across ethnicities and races in boys, whereas neighborhood features like road connectivity may have differing impacts on physical activity across ethnicities and races in girls.