Heterogeneity of dietary profiles in highly sedentary young Guadeloupean women

Journal Title (Medline/Pubmed accepted abbreviation): Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab.
Year: 2010
Volume: 2
Page numbers: 401-408
doi (if applicable):

Summary of Background and Research Design

Hypothesis/Research Question: Are healthy dietary choices and increased physical activity linked? If so, does the relationship between attitudes toward food and physical activity lie in a continuum or is there a threshold effect? Are the decisions conscious?
Subjects: 202 female Guadeloupean college students (median age 20 y)
Experimental design:no intervention

Treatments and protocol:Three questionnaires were administered. In total, it took the women about 10-15 min to complete them. One inquired about age, height, weight, and academic department. The second was a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) that inquired about how often they consume certain foods or food groups. The third was a modifiable activity questionnaire (MAP) that collected information about the types and frequency of physically fatiguing activities (leisure, sports, of occupational activities) they were involved in in the last year. Physical activity levels (PALs) were calculated from the MAPs.
Summary of research findings:
  • This population displayed some dietary and lifestyle behaviors associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In general, the population had low PALs and a poor diet (low in fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids).
  • No patterns were identified between a particular type of diet and physical activity.
  • Fruit intake was correlated the most with increased physical activity.

Key findings and limitations:

The study showed that this particular population exhibited dietary and lifestyle behaviors that increase the risk of future cardiovascular disease. While there were no associations observed between dietary behaviors and levels of physical activity, it should be noted that the overall level of physical activity in the population was uniformly low. This study design performed on a population that displays a broader spectrum of PALs may be able to elucidate a relationship between diet and physical activity.
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