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Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Melissa N. Laska, Sara Veblen-Mortenson, Kian Farbakhsh, Bonnie Dudovitz and Mary Story

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

Coupling peer leadership and DVDs that promote physical activity may be an effective way to increase youth physical activity.

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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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Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Richard F. MacLehose, Allison W. Watts, Marla E. Eisenberg, Melissa N. Laska and Nicole Larson

Background: Yoga may provide a strategy for healthy weight management in young adults. This study examined prevalence and characteristics of young adults’ yoga practice and associations with changes in body mass index. Methods: Surveys were completed by 1830 young adults (31.1 ± 1.6 y) participating in Project EAT-IV. Cross-sectional and 5-year longitudinal analyses were conducted stratified by initial weight status. Results: Two-thirds (66.5%) of nonoverweight women and 48.9% of overweight women reported ever doing yoga, while 27.2% of nonoverweight women and 16.4% of overweight women practiced regularly (≥30 min/wk). Fewer men practiced yoga. Among young adults practicing regularly (n = 294), differences were identified in intensity, type, and location of yoga practice across weight status. Young adults who were overweight and practiced yoga regularly showed a nonsignificant 5-year decrease in their body mass index (−0.60 kg/m2; P = .49), whereas those not practicing regularly had significant increases in their body mass index (+1.37 kg/m2; P < .01). Frequency of yoga was inversely associated with weight gain among both overweight and nonoverweight young adults practicing yoga regularly. Conclusions: Young adults of different body sizes practice yoga. Yoga was associated with less weight gain over time, particularly in overweight young adults. Practicing yoga on a regular basis may help with weight gain prevention.

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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.