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  • Author: Richard F. MacLehose x
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Toben F. Nelson, Richard F. MacLehose, Cynthia Davey, Peter Rode and Marilyn S. Nanney

Background: Two Healthy People 2020 goals are to increase physical activity (PA) and to reduce disparities in PA. We explored whether PA at the school level changed over time in Minnesota schools and whether differences existed by demographic and socioeconomic factors. Methods: We examine self-reported PA (n = 276,089 students; N = 276 schools) for 2001–2010 from the Minnesota Student Survey linked to school demographic data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Rural–Urban Commuting Area Codes. We conducted analyses at the school level using multivariable linear regression with cluster-robust recommendation errors. Results: Overall, students who met PA recommendations increased from 59.8% in 2001 to 66.3% in 2010 (P < .001). Large gains in PA occurred at schools with fewer racial/ethnic minority students (0%–60.1% in 2001 to 67.5% in 2010, P < .001), whereas gains in PA were comparatively small at schools with a high proportion of racial/ethnic minority students in 2001 (30%–59.2% in 2001 to 62.7% in 2010). Conclusions: We found increasing inequalities in school-level PA by racial/ethnic characteristics of their schools and communities among secondary school students. Future research should monitor patterns of PA over time and explore mechanisms for patterns of inequality.

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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.