7 research outputs found

    Perceived Barriers to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity among Adolescents in Seven Arab Countries: A Cross-Cultural Study

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    Objective. To highlight the perceived personal, social, and environmental barriers to healthy eating and physical activity among Arab adolescents. Method. A multistage stratified sampling method was used to select 4698 students aged 15–18 years (2240 males and 2458 females) from public schools. Seven Arab counties were included in the study, namely, Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. Self-reported questionnaire was used to list the barriers to healthy eating and physical activity facing these adolescents. Results. It was found that lack of information on healthy eating, lack of motivation to eat a healthy diet, and not having time to prepare or eat healthy food were the main barriers to healthy eating among both genders. For physical activity, the main barriers selected were lack of motivation to do physical activity, less support from teachers, and lack of time to do physical activity. In general, females faced more barriers to physical activity than males in all countries included. There were significant differences between males and females within each country and among countries for most barriers. Conclusion. Intervention programmes to combat obesity and other chronic noncommunicable diseases in the Arab world should include solutions to overcome the barriers to weight maintenance, particularly the sociocultural barriers to practising physical activity

    Alternate Day Fasting Combined with A Low Carbohydrate Diet for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance

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    This study investigated the effects of alternate day fasting (ADF) combined with a low carbohydrate diet on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in adults with obesity. Changes in appetite were also evaluated. ADF regimens include a “feast day” where food is consumed ad-libitum over 24 h, alternated with a “fast day” where intake is limited to ~600 kcal over 24 h. Subjects with obesity (n = 31) participated in an ADF diet (600 kcal “fast day” alternated with an ad libitum “feast day”) with a low carbohydrate background diet (30% carbohydrates, 35% protein, 35% fat). The 6-month trial consisted of a 3-month weight loss period followed by a 3-month weight maintenance period. Results from this study show that body weight decreased by 5.5% during the weight-loss period (month 0-3) and remained stable during the weight maintenance period (month 4-6). Net weight loss by month 6 was 6.3%. The ADF low carbohydrate diet produced significant reductions in fat mass, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and fasting insulin. However, lean mass, visceral fat mass, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, fasting glucose, insulin resistance (measured via HOMA-IR), and HbA1c remained unchanged. Moreover, subjective hunger and fullness did not change during the weight loss period, or the weight maintenance period. These findings suggest that ADF combined with a low carbohydrate diet is effective for weight loss, weight maintenance, and improving certain metabolic disease risk factors such as LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting insulin. This diet, however, has little impact on subjective appetite. While these preliminary findings are promising, they still require confirmation by a larger‐scale randomized control trial

    Alternate Day Fasting Combined with a Low Carbohydrate Diet: Effect on Sleep Quality, Duration, Insomnia Severity and Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults with Obesity

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    Background: Alternate day fasting combined with a low carbohydrate diet (ADF-LC) is an effective weight loss regimen. Whether the weight loss induced by ADF-LC can improve sleep, remains unknown. Objective: This study examined the effect an ADF-LC diet on sleep quality, duration, insomnia severity and the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Methods: Adults with obesity (n = 31) participated in ADF (600 kcal “fast day”; ad libitum intake “feast day”) with a low-carbohydrate diet (30% carbohydrates, 35% protein, and 35% fat). The 6-month trial consisted of a 3-month weight loss period followed by a 3-month weight maintenance period. Results: Reductions in body weight (−5 ± 1 kg, p < 0.001) and fat mass (−4 ± 1 kg, p < 0.01) were noted during the weight loss period, and these reductions were sustained during the weight maintenance period. Lean mass and visceral fat remained unchanged. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score indicated poor sleep quality at baseline (6.4 ± 0.7) with no change by month 3 or 6, versus baseline. ISI score indicated subthreshold insomnia at baseline (8.5 ± 1.0), with no change by month 3 or 6, versus baseline. The percent of subjects with high risk of obstructive sleep apnea at baseline was 45%, with no change by month 3 or 6. Wake time, bedtime, and sleep duration remained unchanged. Conclusion: The ADF-LC diet does not impact sleep quality, duration, insomnia severity or the risk of obstructive sleep apnea in adults with obesity

    Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Reproductive Hormone Levels in Females and Males: A Review of Human Trials

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    Intermittent fasting is a popular diet for weight loss, but concerns have been raised regarding the effects of fasting on the reproductive health of women and men. Accordingly, we conducted this literature review to clarify the effects of fasting on reproductive hormone levels in humans. Our results suggest that intermittent fasting decreases androgen markers (i.e., testosterone and the free androgen index (FAI)) while increasing sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels in premenopausal females with obesity. This effect was more likely to occur when food consumption was confined to earlier in the day (eating all food before 4 pm). In contrast, fasting did not have any effect on estrogen, gonadotropins, or prolactin levels in women. As for men, intermittent fasting reduced testosterone levels in lean, physically active, young males, but it did not affect SHBG concentrations. Interestingly, muscle mass and muscular strength were not negatively affected by these reductions in testosterone. In interpreting these findings, it is important to note that very few studies have been conducted on this topic. Thus, it is difficult to draw solid conclusions at present. From the limited data presented here, it is possible that intermittent fasting may decrease androgen markers in both genders. If this is the case, these results would have varied health implications. On the one hand, fasting may prove to be a valuable tool for treating hyperandrogenism in females with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) by improving menstruation and fertility. On the other hand, fasting may be shown to decrease androgens among males, which could negatively affect metabolic health and libido. More research is warranted to confirm these preliminary findings

    Image_1_Validation and results of a novel survey assessing decisional balance for a whole food plant-based diet among US adults.pdf

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    ImportanceConsuming a whole food plant-based diet (WFPBD) is a promising, low-risk strategy for reducing risk of prevalent chronic disease and certain cancers, with synergistic benefits for climate and environment. However, few US adults report consuming a WFPBD. Understanding the reasons for this inconsistency is important for developing and implementing interventions for promoting a WFPBD. However, no research to elucidate decisional balance driving current consumption patterns in the US exists.ObjectiveThis research aims to validate an online survey to assess decisional balance for the consumption of a WFPBD, describe attitudes and beliefs toward adopting a WFPBD, and evaluate socio-demographic differences in decisional balance for consuming a WFPBD among a convenience sample of US adults.DesignOnline cross-sectional data collection followed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), validation of internal consistency, and examination of invariance across socio-demographic variables. Sensitivity analysis of full vs. truncated survey to predict self-reported dietary patterns and consumption behaviors were evaluated. Results of the survey and significant differences by socio-demographics were assessed.SettingOnline survey based on previous research, created via Qualtrics, and administered through MTurk.ParticipantsA total of 412 US adults, majority female (66%), White (75%), 30–60 years old (54%), ≥ Bachelor’s degree (85%), and earning ≥ $45K (68%).Main outcomes and measuresFactor loadings, covariance of survey items, associations with self-reported dietary pattern and consumption measures, and differences in pros, cons, and decisional balance across socio-demographic variables.ResultsCFA reduced the survey from 49 to 12 items and demonstrated invariance across socio-demographic variables. Pros and cons varied inversely and significantly (cov = –0.59), as expected. Cronbach’s α ’s for subscales in the final, reduced model were high (>0.80). Pros, cons, and decisional balance in both the full and the reduced model were significantly (p Conclusion and relevanceOur analyses indicate the WFPBD Survey is a parsimonious and psychometrically sound instrument for evaluation of decisional balance to consume a WFPBD diet among our sample of US adults. These results may be instrumental for development and deployment of interventions intended to promote consumption of a WFPBD in the US.</p

    Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity among Adolescents in Seven Arab Countries: A Cross-Cultural Study

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    Objective. The aim of this study was to find out the prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in seven Arab countries using similar reference standard. Methods. A school-based cross-sectional study was carried out in seven cities in Arab countries, namely, Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and United Arab Emirates. A multistage stratified random sampling technique was used. The total sample included was 4698 adolescents aged from 15 to 18 years (2240 males, 2458 females). The International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) reference standard was used to classify the adolescents as nonobese, overweight, and obese. Results. Among males, overweight was highest among Kuwaiti adolescents (25.6%), followed by Jordanian (21.6%), and Syrian (19.7%) adolescents. Among females, the highest prevalence of overweight was reported in Libyan adolescents (26.6%), followed by Kuwaiti (20.8%), and Syrian (19.7%) adolescents. As for obesity, Kuwaiti adolescents showed the highest prevalence of obesity for both males (34.8%) and females (20.6%). Conclusion. There is an urgent need to establish a plan of action to combat obesity in schoolchildren in these countries