Protocol for the modeling the epidemiologic transition study: a longitudinal observational study of energy balance and change in body weight, diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk

Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL, USA.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.32). 12/2011; 11:927. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-927
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevalence of obesity has increased in societies of all socio-cultural backgrounds. To date, guidelines set forward to prevent obesity have universally emphasized optimal levels of physical activity. However there are few empirical data to support the assertion that low levels of energy expenditure in activity is a causal factor in the current obesity epidemic are very limited.
The Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study (METS) is a cohort study designed to assess the association between physical activity levels and relative weight, weight gain and diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk in five population-based samples at different stages of economic development. Twenty-five hundred young adults, ages 25-45, were enrolled in the study; 500 from sites in Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, Jamaica and the United States. At baseline, physical activity levels were assessed using accelerometry and a questionnaire in all participants and by doubly labeled water in a subsample of 75 per site. We assessed dietary intake using two separate 24-hour recalls, body composition using bioelectrical impedance analysis, and health history, social and economic indicators by questionnaire. Blood pressure was measured and blood samples collected for measurement of lipids, glucose, insulin and adipokines. Full examination including physical activity using accelerometry, anthropometric data and fasting glucose will take place at 12 and 24 months. The distribution of the main variables and the associations between physical activity, independent of energy intake, glucose metabolism and anthropometric measures will be assessed using cross-section and longitudinal analysis within and between sites.
METS will provide insight on the relative contribution of physical activity and diet to excess weight, age-related weight gain and incident glucose impairment in five populations' samples of young adults at different stages of economic development. These data should be useful for the development of empirically-based public health policy aimed at the prevention of obesity and associated chronic diseases.


Available from: Lara Dugas, Apr 20, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Metals are known endocrine disruptors and have been linked to cardiometabolic diseases via multiple potential mechanisms, yet few human studies have both the exposure variability and biologically-relevant phenotype data available. We sought to examine the distribution of metals exposure and potential associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the “Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition Study” (METS), a prospective cohort study designed to assess energy balance and change in body weight, diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk in five countries at different stages of social and economic development. Methods Young adults (25–45 years) of African descent were enrolled (N = 500 from each site) in: Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, Jamaica and the U.S.A. We randomly selected 150 blood samples (N = 30 from each site) to determine concentrations of selected metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury) in a subset of participants at baseline and to examine associations with cardiometabolic risk factors. Results Median (interquartile range) metal concentrations (μg/L) were: arsenic 8.5 (7.7); cadmium 0.01 (0.8); lead 16.6 (16.1); and mercury 1.5 (5.0). There were significant differences in metals concentrations by: site location, paid employment status, education, marital status, smoking, alcohol use, and fish intake. After adjusting for these covariates plus age and sex, arsenic (OR 4.1, 95% C.I. 1.2, 14.6) and lead (OR 4.0, 95% C.I. 1.6, 9.6) above the median values were significantly associated with elevated fasting glucose. These associations increased when models were further adjusted for percent body fat: arsenic (OR 5.6, 95% C.I. 1.5, 21.2) and lead (OR 5.0, 95% C.I. 2.0, 12.7). Cadmium and mercury were also related with increased odds of elevated fasting glucose, but the associations were not statistically significant. Arsenic was significantly associated with increased odds of low HDL cholesterol both with (OR 8.0, 95% C.I. 1.8, 35.0) and without (OR 5.9, 95% C.I. 1.5, 23.1) adjustment for percent body fat. Conclusions While not consistent for all cardiometabolic disease markers, these results are suggestive of potentially important associations between metals exposure and cardiometabolic risk. Future studies will examine these associations in the larger cohort over time.
    Environmental Health 11/2014; 13(1):90. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-13-90 · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Variations in physical activity (PA) across nations may be driven by socioeconomic position. As national incomes increase, car ownership becomes within reach of more individuals. This report characterizes associations between car ownership and PA in African-origin populations across 5 sites at different levels of economic development and with different transportation infrastructures: US, Seychelles, Jamaica, South Africa, and Ghana. Twenty-five hundred adults, ages 25-45, were enrolled in the study. A total of 2,101 subjects had valid accelerometer-based PA measures (reported as average daily duration of moderate to vigorous PA, MVPA) and complete socioeconomic information. Our primary exposure of interest was whether the household owned a car. We adjusted for socioeconomic position using household income and ownership of common goods. Overall, PA levels did not vary largely between sites, with highest levels in South Africa, lowest in the US. Across all sites, greater PA was consistently associated with male gender, fewer years of education, manual occupations, lower income, and owning fewer material goods. We found heterogeneity across sites in car ownership: after adjustment for confounders, car owners in the US had 24.3 fewer minutes of MVPA compared to non-car owners in the US (20.7 vs. 45.1 minutes/day of MVPA); in the non-US sites, car-owners had an average of 9.7 fewer minutes of MVPA than non-car owners (24.9 vs. 34.6 minutes/day of MVPA). PA levels are similar across all study sites except Jamaica, despite very different levels of socioeconomic development. Not owning a car in the US is associated with especially high levels of MVPA. As car ownership becomes prevalent in the developing world, strategies to promote alternative forms of active transit may become important.
    BMC Public Health 12/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1435-9 · 2.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The association between smoking and total energy expenditure (TEE) is still controversial. We examined this association in a multi-country study where TEE was measured in a subset of participants by the doubly labeled water (DLW) method, the gold standard for this measurement.
    Nutrition & Metabolism 10/2014; 11(1):48. DOI:10.1186/1743-7075-11-48 · 3.36 Impact Factor