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Michael B. Edwards and George Cunningham

Background:

Racial health disparities are more pronounced among older adults. Few studies have examined how racism influences health behaviors. This study’s purpose was to examine how opportunities for physical activity (PA) and community racism are associated with older racial minorities’ reported engagement in PA. We also investigated how PA levels influenced health.

Methods:

We analyzed survey data obtained from a health assessment conducted in 3360 households in Texas, USA, which included items pertaining to PA, community characteristics, and health.

Results:

Our sample contained 195 women and 85 men (mean age 70.16), most of whom were African American. We found no direct relationship between opportunities and PA. Results suggested that perceived community racism moderated this association. When community racism was low, respondents found ways to be active whether they perceived opportunities or not. When community racism was high, perceived lack of opportunities significantly impeded PA engagement. We found the expected association between PA and health.

Conclusions:

Results suggested that negative effects of community racism were counteracted through increased opportunities for PA.

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Michelle C. Kegler, Iris Alcantara, Regine Haardörfer, Alexandra Gemma, Denise Ballard and Julie Gazmararian

Background:

Physical activity levels, including walking, are lower in the southern U.S., particularly in rural areas. This study investigated the concept of rural neighborhood walkability to aid in developing tools for assessing walkability and to identify intervention targets in rural communities.

Methods:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with physically active adults (n = 29) in rural Georgia. Mean age of participants was 55.9 years; 66% were male, 76% were white, and 24% were African American. Participants drew maps of their neighborhoods and discussed the relevance of typical domains of walkability to their decisions to exercise. Comparative analyses were conducted to identify major themes.

Results:

The majority felt the concept of neighborhood was applicable and viewed their neighborhood as small geographically (less than 0.5 square miles). Sidewalks were not viewed as essential for neighborhood-based physical activity and typical destinations for walking were largely absent. Destinations within walking distance included neighbors’ homes and bodies of water. Views were mixed on whether shade, safety, dogs, and aesthetics affected decisions to exercise in their neighborhoods.

Conclusions:

Measures of neighborhood walkability in rural areas should acknowledge the small size of self-defined neighborhoods, that walking in rural areas is likely for leisure time exercise, and that some domains may not be relevant.

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Sandra L. Hanson and Rebecca S. Kraus

A Critical Feminist perspective and data from the nationally representative National Educational Longitudinal Study are used to explore the relationship between involvement in sports and success in science for a recent cohort of high school aged women. We also consider whether women from different social classes and racial/ethnic groups and with different sport experiences derive similar benefits from sport. Variation in sport experience involves a consideration of type of sport (e.g., basketball vs. track), type of team (e.g., varsity vs. intramural), age of athlete (middle school vs. high school sophomore vs. high school senior), and leadership roles (e.g., captain). Our findings show that sport has mostly positive consequences for young women’s science attainment, although these effects are smaller than for a 1980 cohort of female athletes. These benefits exist across types of sport, teams, and levels of involvement but are their greatest in the sophomore year of high school. In contrast to earlier cohorts, we find that for this recent cohort, sport participation positively affects the science attainment of women from various subgroups—white, Hispanic, upper-ses and lower-ses. However, young African-American women see very little benefit from sport. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Toben F. Nelson, Steven L. Gortmaker, S. V. Subramanian and Henry Wechsler

Background:

Vigorous physical activity (VPA) declines from adolescence into adulthood and social disparities in VPA exist. Physical activity is understudied in the college setting.

Methods:

VPA during high school and college was examined among 10,437 students attending 119 four-year colleges using gender-stratified logistic regression analyses.

Results:

Fewer students engaged in VPA in college compared with high school (males 74% to 52%; females 68% to 44%). Athletics was associated with VPA, but 51% participated in high school and 15% in college. Among females, African Americans, Asians, and students of lower socioeconomic position (SEP) were less likely to engage in VPA in college, adjusting for high school VPA. Among males, Asians and older students were less likely to engage in VPA.

Conclusions:

VPA declines from high school to college. Athletic participation is a determinant of VPA, but few participate in collegiate athletics. Social disparities in VPA emerge in college, an important setting for promoting VPA and addressing health disparities. Regular physical activity is an important contributor to human health. It is positively associated with longevity and may prevent or help manage diabetes, metabolic syndrome, overweight, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer.1-8 Among children and adolescents, lack of physical activity is associated with higher body mass index.9-10 Physical activity is also associated with positive mood, self-esteem, and decreased anxiety.11-14

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Carolyn J. Murrock and Christine Heifner Graor

This study documented the feasibility and immediate effects of a dance intervention two times per week for 12 weeks on depression, physical function, and disability in older, underserved adults. The one-group, pretest–posttest study had a convenience sample of 40 participants recruited from a federally subsidized apartment complex located in an economically depressed, inner-city neighborhood. Depression, physical function, and disability were measured at baseline and 12 weeks. Average age was 63 years (SD = 7.9), 92% were female, and 75% were African American. At baseline, participants reported increased depression (M = 20.0, SD = 12.4), decreased physical function (M = 56.6, SD = 10.9), and increased disability limitations (M = 65.7, SD = 14.9). At posttest, paired t tests showed that the dance intervention significantly decreased depression, t = 6.11, p < .001, and disability, t = −2.70, p = .014, and significantly increased physical function, t = -2.74, p = .013. The results indicate that the 12-week dance intervention may be an effective adjunct therapy to improve depression, disability, and physical function in underserved adults.

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Chris Elzey

By James W. Miller. Published in 2017 by University of Kentucky Press (275 pp., $29.95 USD , hardback) The racial integration of America’s public schools effectively ended many invaluable African American scholastic and sporting organizations. This quandary underlies much of Integrated: The

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Richard J. Bloomer, Bradford Cole and Kelsey H. Fisher-Wellman

High-kilocalorie feedings induce oxidative stress. Acute exercise has the potential to attenuate postprandial oxidative stress. No study has determined whether there are racial differences in postprandial oxidative stress with and without a preceding bout of acute exercise.

Purpose:

To investigate the impact of acute exercise on blood oxidative- stress biomarkers, triglycerides (TAG), and glucose in African American (AA) and White (W) women.

Methods:

10 AA (age 29 ± 3 yr, body-mass index [BMI] 31 ± 3 kg/m2) and 10 W (age 30 ± 2 yr, BMI 30 ± 3 kg/m2) women consumed a meal of 1.2 g of fat and carbohydrate and 0.25 g of protein per kilogram body mass, on 2 occasions—with and without a session of aerobic exercise 15 min preceding the meal (45 min cycling at 65% heart-rate reserve)—in a random-order crossover design. Blood samples were collected premeal (fasted), and at 1, 2, 4, and 6 hr postmeal and assayed for TAG, glucose, xanthine oxidase activity, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and malondialdehyde (MDA). Area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each variable.

Results:

AUC was lower for AA compared with W for both the exercise and the no exercise conditions for H2O2, MDA, and TAG (p < .01). However, acute exercise had no effect on decreasing the AUC for any variable in either AA or W women (p > .05).

Conclusions:

Postprandial lipemia and oxidative stress are lower in AA than in W overweight/obese women. However, acute exercise, performed at the intensity and duration in the current study, does not influence postprandial lipemia or oxidative stress in AA or W women.

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Stephen J. Carter, Eric P. Plaisance, Gordon Fisher, Jose R. Fernandez, Barbara A. Gower and Gary R. Hunter

African American (AA) and European American (EA) women often exhibit differences in hemoglobin (Hb) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], both of which can be altered by calorie restriction leading to weight loss. Given these known differences, it is of clinical interest to examine the potential for race-specific, adverse responses to weight loss. Sixty-four overweight (BMI 27–29.9 kg/m2), premenopausal women consumed a standardized, very-low calorie diet to reduce BMI < 25 kg/m2. Ancestry informative markers provided estimates of African admixture, an objective mean of expressing race. Blood sampling and anthropometric measures were performed at baseline and upon meeting target BMI. At baseline, in the overweight state, Hb (g/dL) (AA, 11.7 ± 0.9 vs. EA, 12.5 ± 0.8; p < .01) and 25(OH)D (nmol/L) (AA, 35.7 ± 12.9 vs. EA, 57.0 ± 20.0; p < .01) were lower in AAs. After weight loss, Hb decreased (AA, -0.5 ± 0.7 vs. EA, -0.4 ± 0.6; p = .48) to a similar extent among races. Conversely, 25(OH)D increased (AA, 43.4 ± 14.0 vs. EA 68.2 ± 24.3; p < .01) though the magnitude of change (Δ) was not different (AA, +7.8 ± 13.5 vs. EA, +11.2 ± 16.7; p = .37) between races. Multiple linear regression revealed a positive association between ΔHb and Δ25(OH)D (r = .386; p < .01) adjusted for African admixture, Δtestosterone, and Δbody fat%. Path analyses revealed a significant indirect effect of Δbody fat% on ΔHb through Δ25(OH)D, β =-0.023, CI [-0.06, -0.004]. Following 15% weight loss, participants with the largest increase in serum 25(OH)D exhibited the smallest decrease in Hb. Future research should clarify the optimal degree of calorie restriction to stimulate weight loss while mitigating the potential risk of anemia associated with dieting efforts.

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

Activity in Teens) sample that included large numbers of white, African American, Hispanic, and Asian (mostly of Hmong ethnicity) participants, aims to examine whether personal, social, and neighborhood correlates of MVPA differ across ethnicity/race in adolescent boys and girls. A previous main

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Kim Gammage, Rachel Arnold, Lori Dithurbide, Alison Ede, Karl Erickson, Blair Evans, Larkin Lamarche, Sean Locke, Eric Martin and Kathleen Wilson

Exercise Engagement Among Young African American Women? All Signs Point to Yes There are large health disparities for African American women, which substantially increases their risk for many chronic diseases. Increasing physical activity levels can reduce health risks, but there are few interventions that