Melissa N Laska

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States

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Publications (75)197.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To (1) explore college students' perceived sexual orientation-related barriers to engaging in physical activity, eating healthfully and maintaining healthy body images and (2) identify types of campus resources on physical activity, healthy eating and body image available to lesbian, gay and bisexual college students. Previous research has highlighted sexual orientation disparities in weight status, physical activity, healthy eating and body image. Despite this, little is known about the context surrounding these disparities. Cross-sectional study using individual interviews. Thirty (15 males, 15 females) lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and pansexual-identified college students, aged 18–30 years participated in the study. Quasi-inductive coding was used to analyse transcribed interview data and an iterative coding process was used to organise data into themes. Many felt their sexual orientation helped them be physically active, engage in healthful eating habits and have a positive body image. However, sexual orientation was also identified as a stressor that adversely impacted physical activity and eating habits. Lesbian, gay and bisexual students may have to negotiate their sexuality in ways that could adversely influence their physical activity, eating habits and body image. Both clinical and institutional interventions should be inclusive of all people, including lesbian, gay and bisexual, queer, and pansexual students. Further, tailored interventions to meet the specific health needs of sexual minority populations are needed. Clinicians need to understand the context in which sexual minority young adults experience health promotion messaging and programming. Clinic-based tailored interventions are critical as part of a multi-faceted approach in promoting physical activity and healthier eating habits for all young people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and pansexual, to more effectively address the prevention of chronic diseases.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Clinical Nursing
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Little is known about the practices for stocking and procuring healthy food in non-traditional food retailers (e.g. gas-marts, pharmacies). The present study aimed to: (i) compare availability of healthy food items across small food store types; and (ii) examine owner/manager perceptions and stocking practices for healthy food across store types. Design: Descriptive analyses were conducted among corner/small grocery stores, gas-marts, pharmacies and dollar stores. Data from store inventories were used to examine availability of twelve healthy food types and an overall healthy food supply score. Interviews with managers assessed stocking practices and profitability. Setting: Small stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, USA, not participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Subjects: One hundred and nineteen small food retailers and seventy-one store managers. Results: Availability of specific items varied across store type. Only corner/small grocery stores commonly sold fresh vegetables (63 % v. 8 % of gas-marts, 0 % of dollar stores and 23 % of pharmacies). More than half of managers stocking produce relied on cash-and-carry practices to stock fresh fruit (53 %) and vegetables (55 %), instead of direct store delivery. Most healthy foods were perceived by managers to have at least average profitability. Conclusions: Interventions to improve healthy food offerings in small stores should consider the diverse environments, stocking practices and supply mechanisms of small stores, particularly non-traditional food retailers. Improvements may require technical support, customer engagement and innovative distribution practices.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Public Health Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Background/aims: Young adults are at risk of weight gain, but little is known about designing effective weight control trials for young adults or how to recruit and retain participants in these programs. The Choosing Healthy Options in College Environments and Settings (CHOICES) study evaluated the effectiveness of a weight gain prevention intervention for 2-year college students. We describe the methods used to recruit and retain the colleges and their students, describe the sample and discuss recommendations for future studies. Methods: Students were recruited into a 24-month trial of a weight control intervention with assessment periods at baseline, 4-, 12- and 24-month follow-up. Results: We successfully recruited 441 students through partnerships with three 2-year colleges through a variety of campus-based methods. Ultimately, 83.4% of the randomized cohort participated in the 24-month assessment period. Those retained more often were White (p = 0.03) compared to those who dropped out or were lost to follow-up; no other socio-demographic factor (e.g. gender, ethnicity and education), body mass index, body fat, waist circumference or weight status was observed to differ between randomly assigned groups. Conclusion: Two-year colleges and their students are interested in participating in weight-related trials and partnering with universities for research. Researchers must work closely with administrators to identify benefits to their institutions and to resolve student-level barriers to recruitment and retention. Our experiences from the Choosing Healthy Options in College Environments and Settings study should be useful in identifying effective recruitment and retention methods for weight gain prevention trials among young adults.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Clinical Trials
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The US Department of Agriculture has stocking criteria for healthy foods among Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP)-authorized retailers. Increased access to healthy food could improve diet quality among SNAP participants, which has implications for chronic disease prevention. The objective of this study was to quantify healthy foods stocked in small-size to mid-size retailers who are authorized under SNAP but not under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Methods: We used formative, cross-sectional data from a large policy evaluation to conduct secondary analyses. Store audits were conducted in 2014 in 91 randomly selected, licensed food stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. Supermarkets and retailers participating in WIC, which are required to stock healthy foods, were excluded as were other stores not reasonably expected to stock staple foods, such as specialty stores or produce stands. Availability of milk, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain-rich foods was assessed. Results: The 91 stores studied were corner stores, food-gas marts, dollar stores, and pharmacies. More than half carried 1 or more varieties of fat-free or low-fat milk, fresh or canned fruit, and whole-grain-rich cereal. However, only one-third stocked 1 or more varieties of fresh vegetables and only one-quarter stocked whole-grain-rich products, such as whole-grain-rich bread (26%) or tortillas (21%) or brown rice (25%). Few stores stocked at least 2 varieties of each product. Conclusions: Many stores did not stock a variety of healthy foods. The US Department of Agriculture should change policies to improve minimum stocking requirements for SNAP-authorized retailers.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Preventing chronic disease
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose . To identify and describe homogenous classes of male college students based on their weight-related behaviors (e.g., eating habits, physical activity, and unhealthy weight control) and to examine differences by sexual orientation. Design . Study design was a cross-sectional sample of 2- and 4-year college students. Setting . Study setting was forty-six 2- and 4-year colleges in Minnesota. Subjects . Study subjects comprised 10,406 college males. Measures . Measures were five categories of sexual orientation derived from self-reported sexual identity and behavior (heterosexual, discordant heterosexual [identifies as heterosexual and engages in same-sex sexual behavior], gay, bisexual, and unsure) and nine weight-related behaviors (including measures for eating habits, physical activity, and unhealthy weight control). Analysis . Latent class models were fit for each of the five sexual orientation groups, using the nine weight-related behaviors. Results . Overall, four classes were identified: "healthier eating habits" (prevalence range, 39.4%-77.3%), "moderate eating habits" (12.0%-30.2%), "unhealthy weight control" (2.6%-30.4%), and "healthier eating habits, more physically active" (35.8%). Heterosexual males exhibited all four patterns, gay and unsure males exhibited four patterns that included variations on the overall classes identified, discordant heterosexual males exhibited two patterns ("healthier eating habits" and "unhealthy weight control"), and bisexual males exhibited three patterns ("healthier eating habits," "moderate eating habits," and "unhealthy weight control"). Conclusion . Findings highlight the need for multibehavioral interventions for discordant heterosexual, gay, bisexual, and unsure college males, particularly around encouraging physical activity and reducing unhealthy weight control behaviors.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · American journal of health promotion: AJHP
  • Jennifer E Pelletier · Leslie A Lytle · Melissa N Laska
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to describe the relationship between stress, weight-related health risk behaviors (e.g., eating behaviors, physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep, cigarette smoking, and binge drinking), and weight status using cross-sectional data on 2-year community college students enrolled in a randomized controlled weight gain prevention trial. Modified Poisson regression and linear regression were used to examine crude and adjusted cross-sectional associations. Higher stress was associated with higher prevalence of overweight/obesity (crude prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI: 1.01, 1.09]), though the relationship was no longer statistically significant after controlling for a wide range of weight-related health risk behaviors (adjusted PR = 1.04; 95% CI [1.00, 1.08]). Stress levels were significantly associated with meal skipping and being a current smoker. Future research should investigate the mechanisms through which stress is related to obesity risk and examine the causes of stress among this understudied population to inform the design of appropriate interventions. © 2015 Society for Public Health Education.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Health Education & Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to describe the workplace environments of young adults and examine associations with diet, physical activity (PA) and body mass index (BMI). Cross-sectional data were collected (2008-2009) from 1538 employed young adult participants in Project EAT (Eating and Activity among Teens and Young Adults), a diverse population-based sample. Survey measures assessed height, weight, diet, moderate-to-vigorous PA, transportation-related PA and perceptions of the workplace food and PA environments (eg, soda availability, coworker support). Healthful characteristics were summed to reflect overall workplace healthfulness. Modified Poisson regression analyses conducted in 2015 identified associations between workplace food and PA environments and diet, PA and BMI. The healthfulness of workplace environments was suboptimal. Greater exposure to healthful workplace characteristics was related to more young adults engaged in favourable diet and PA behaviours and a lower prevalence obesity. For example, adjusted rates of obesity were 24% and 17% among those reporting low (≤1 characteristic) versus high (≥3 characteristics) exposure to healthful food environments, respectively (p<0.05). Workplace characteristics independently associated with weight-related outcomes included soda availability, proximity to a fast food outlet, living close to work and perceived ease of eating a healthy diet or being active at work. A more healthful workplace environment overall, including physical attributes and perceived social norms, may contribute to more favourable weight-related behaviours and lower prevalence of obesity among young adults. Employer-initiated and community-initiated policies may represent one way to create healthier workplace environments for young adults. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of epidemiology and community health
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    ABSTRACT: To identify and describe homogenous profiles of female college students based on weight-related behaviors and examine differences across 5 sexual orientation groups. Data from the 2009-2013 College Student Health Survey (Minnesota-based survey of 2- and 4-year college students) were used to fit latent class models. Four profiles were identified across all sexual orientation groups: "healthier eating habits," "moderate eating habits," "unhealthy weight control," and "healthier eating habits, more physically active." Differences in patterns and prevalence of profiles across sexual orientation suggest need for interventions addressing insufficient physical activity and unhealthy weight control behaviors. Future interventions should consider the diversity of behavioral patterns across sexual orientation to more effectively address weight-related behavioral disparities.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · American journal of health behavior
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    ABSTRACT: Our objective was to conduct a process evaluation of the CHOICES (Choosing Healthy Options in College Environments and Settings) study, a large, randomized, controlled trial designed to prevent unhealthy weight gain in young adults (aged 18-35) attending 2-year community colleges in the USA. The 24-month intervention consisted of participation in an academic course and a social networking and support website. Among intervention participants, completion rates for most course activities were >80%, reflecting a high level of dose received. Course retention and participant satisfaction were also high. Engagement results, however, were mixed with less than half of participants in the online and hybrid sections of the course reporting that they interacted with course materials ≥3 h/week, but 50-75% reporting that they completed required lessons 'all/very thoroughly'. Engagement in the website activities was also mixed with more than half of intervention participants logging onto the website during the first month, but then declining to 25-40% during the following 23 months of the intervention. Intervention engagement is a challenge of online interventions and a challenge of working with the young adult age group in general. Additional research is needed to explore strategies to support engagement among this population, particularly for relatively long intervention durations. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Health Promotion International
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual minority college students (i.e., those not identifying as heterosexual, or those reporting same-sex sexual activity) may be at increased risk of poor mental health, given factors such as minority stress, stigma, and discrimination. Such disparities could have important implications for students' academic achievement, future health, and social functioning. This study compares reports of mental disorder diagnoses, stressful life events, and frequent mental distress across five gender-stratified sexual orientation categories. Data were from the 2007-2011 College Student Health Survey, which surveyed a random sample of college students (N=34,324) at 40 Minnesota institutions. Data analysis was conducted in 2013-2014. The prevalence of mental disorder diagnoses, frequent mental distress, and stressful life events were calculated for heterosexual, discordant heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, and unsure students. Logistic regression models were fit to estimate the association between sexual orientation and mental health outcomes. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual students were more likely to report any mental health disorder diagnosis than were heterosexual students (p<0.05). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and unsure students were significantly more likely to report frequent mental distress compared to heterosexual students (OR range, 1.6-2.7). All sexual minority groups, with the exception of unsure men, had significantly greater odds of experiencing two or more stressful life events (OR range, 1.3-2.8). Sexual minority college students experience worse mental health than their heterosexual peers. These students may benefit from interventions that target the structural and social causes of these disparities, and individual-level interventions that consider their unique life experiences. Copyright © 2015 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · American journal of preventive medicine
  • Nicole A. VanKim · Darin J. Erickson · Melissa N. Laska
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    ABSTRACT: Food shopping is a complex behavior that consists of multiple dimensions. Little research has explored multiple dimensions of food shopping or examined how it relates to dietary intake. To identify patterns (or classes) of food shopping across four domains (fresh food purchasing, conscientious food shopping, food shopping locations, and food/beverage purchasing on or near campus) and explore how these patterns relate to dietary intake among college students. A cross-sectional online survey was administered. Students attending a public 4-year university and a 2-year community college in the Twin Cities (Minnesota) metropolitan area (N=1,201) participated in this study. Fast-food and soda consumption as well as meeting fruit and vegetable, fiber, added sugar, calcium, dairy, and fat recommendations. Crude and adjusted latent class models and adjusted logistic regression models were fit. An eight-class solution was identified: "traditional shopper" (14.9%), "fresh food and supermarket shopper" (14.1%), "convenience shopper" (18.8%), "conscientious convenience shopper" (13.8%), "conscientious, fresh food, convenience shopper" (11.8%), "conscientious fresh food shopper" (6.6%), "conscientious nonshopper" (10.2%), and "nonshopper" (9.8%). "Fresh food and supermarket shoppers" and "conscientious fresh food shoppers" had better dietary intake (for fast food, calcium, dairy, and added sugar), whereas "convenience shoppers" and "conscientious convenience shoppers," and "nonshoppers" had worse dietary intake (for soda, calcium, dairy, fiber, and fat) than "traditional shoppers." These findings highlight unique patterns in food shopping and associated dietary patterns that could inform tailoring of nutrition interventions for college students. Additional research is needed to understand modifiable contextual influences of healthy food shopping. Copyright © 2015 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: OBJECTIVES AND PARTICIPANTS: The purpose of this article is to describe weight indicators and weight-related behaviors of students enrolled in 2-year colleges, including sex differences. Methods: During Fall 2011 and Spring 2012, 441 students from 3 Minnesota community colleges enrolled in the Choosing Healthy Options in College Environments and Settings (CHOICES) Study and completed baseline assessments. Participants completed a baseline survey evaluating eating and activity patterns, sleep, and stress and measures of height, weight, waist circumference, and body fat. Results: Participants were primarily female (68%), white (73%), with a mean age of 22.8 years, and 66.2% reporting an annual income < $12,000. Almost half (47%) were overweight or obese. Young males appeared to engage the most in risky health behaviors and had higher levels of overweight or obesity, compared with young females. Conclusions: Findings confirm the need for innovative interventions targeting this understudied and underserved young adult population.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of American College Health
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    ABSTRACT: National data for the USA show increases in sports and energy drink consumption over the past decade with the largest increases among young adults aged 20-34 years. The present study aimed to identify sociodemographic factors and health-risk behaviours associated with sports and energy drink consumption among young adults. Cross-sectional analysis of survey data from the third wave of a cohort study (Project EAT-III: Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults). Regression models stratified on gender and adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics were used to examine associations of sports and energy drink consumption with eating behaviours, physical activity, media use, weight-control behaviours, sleep patterns and substance use. Participants completed baseline surveys in 1998-1999 as students at public secondary schools in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA and the EAT-III surveys online or by mail in 2008-2009. The sample consisted of 2287 participants (55 % female, mean age 25·3 years). Results showed 31·0 % of young adults consumed sports drinks and 18·8 % consumed energy drinks at least weekly. Among men and women, sports drink consumption was associated with higher sugar-sweetened soda and fruit juice intake, video game use and use of muscle-enhancing substances like creatine (P≤0·01). Energy drink consumption was associated with lower breakfast frequency and higher sugar-sweetened soda intake, video game use, use of unhealthy weight-control behaviours, trouble sleeping and substance use among men and women (P<0·05). Health professionals should consider the clustering of sports and energy drink consumption with other unhealthy behaviours in the design of programmes and services for young adults.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: (i) To examine associations between young adults' meal routines and practices (e.g. food preparation, meal skipping, eating on the run) and key dietary indicators (fruit/vegetable, fast-food and sugar-sweetened beverage intakes) and (ii) to develop indices of protective and risky meal practices most strongly associated with diet. Cross-sectional survey. Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, Minnesota (USA). A diverse sample of community college and public university students (n 1013). Meal routines and practices most strongly associated with healthy dietary patterns were related to home food preparation (i.e. preparing meals at home, preparing meals with vegetables) and meal regularity (i.e. routine consumption of evening meals and breakfast). In contrast, factors most strongly associated with poor dietary patterns included eating on the run, using media while eating and purchasing foods/beverages on campus. A Protective Factors Index, summing selected protective meal routines and practices, was positively associated with fruit/vegetable consumption and negatively associated with fast-food and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (P<0·001). A Risky Factors Index yielded significant, positive associations with fast-food and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption (P<0·001). The probability test for the association between the Risky Factors Index and fruit/vegetable intake was P=0·05. Meal routines and practices were significantly associated with young adults' dietary patterns, suggesting that ways in which individuals structure mealtimes and contextual characteristics of eating likely influence food choice. Thus, in addition to considering specific food choices, it also may be important to consider the context of mealtimes in developing dietary messaging and guidelines.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Public Health Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. We assessed disparities in weight and weight-related behaviors among college students by sexual orientation and gender. Methods. We performed cross-sectional analyses of pooled annual data (2007-2011; n = 33 907) from students participating in a Minnesota state-based survey of 40 two- and four-year colleges and universities. Sexual orientation included heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, unsure, and discordant heterosexual (heterosexuals engaging in same-sex sexual experiences). Dependent variables included weight status (derived from self-reported weight and height), diet (fruits, vegetables, soda, fast food, restaurant meals, breakfast), physical activity, screen time, unhealthy weight control, and body satisfaction. Results. Bisexual and lesbian women were more likely to be obese than heterosexual and discordant heterosexual women. Bisexual women were at high risk for unhealthy weight, diet, physical activity, and weight control behaviors. Gay and bisexual men exhibited poor activity patterns, though gay men consumed significantly less regular soda (and significantly more diet soda) than heterosexual men. Conclusions. We observed disparities in weight-, diet-, and physical activity-related factors across sexual orientation among college youths. Additional research is needed to better understand these disparities and the most appropriate intervention strategies to address them. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print November 13, 2014: e1-e11. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302094).
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · American Journal of Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the complex patterning of weight-related health behaviors in 2- and 4-year college students. The objective of this study was to identify and describe unique classes of weight-related health behaviors among college students. Latent class analysis was used to identify homogenous, mutually exclusive classes of nine health behaviors that represent multiple theoretically/clinically relevant dimensions of obesity risk among 2- versus 4-year college students using cross-sectional statewide surveillance data (N = 17,584). Additionally, differences in class membership on selected sociodemographic characteristics were examined using a model-based approach. Analysis was conducted separately for both college groups, and five and four classes were identified for 2- and 4-year college students, respectively. Four classes were similar across 2- and 4-year college groups and were characterized as "mostly healthy dietary habits, active"; "moderately high screen time, active"; "moderately healthy dietary habits, inactive"; and "moderately high screen time, inactive." "Moderately healthy dietary habits, high screen time" was the additional class unique to 2-year college students. These classes differed on a number of sociodemographic characteristics, including the proportion in each class who were classified as obese. Implications for prevention scientists and future intervention programs are considered.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Health Education & Behavior
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    Marla Reicks · Amanda C. Trofholz · Jamie S. Stang · Melissa N. Laska
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Cooking programs are growing in popularity; however, an extensive review has not examined their overall impact. Therefore, this study reviewed previous research on cooking/home food preparation interventions and diet and health-related outcomes among adults and identified implications for practice and research. Design Literature review and descriptive summative method. Main Outcome Measures Dietary intake, knowledge/skills, cooking attitudes and self-efficacy/confidence, health outcomes. Analysis Articles evaluating the effectiveness of interventions that included cooking/home food preparation as the primary aim (January, 1980 through December, 2011) were identified via Ovid MEDLINE, Agricola, and Web of Science databases. Studies grouped according to design and outcomes were reviewed for validity using an established coding system. Results were summarized for several outcome categories. Results Of 28 studies identified, 12 included a control group with 6 as nonrandomized and 6 as randomized controlled trials. Evaluation was done postintervention for 5 studies, pre- and postintervention for 23, and beyond postintervention for 15. Qualitative and quantitative measures suggested a positive influence on main outcomes. However, nonrigorous study designs, varying study populations, and the use of nonvalidated assessment tools limited stronger conclusions. Conclusions and Implications Well-designed studies are needed that rigorously evaluate long-term impact on cooking behavior, dietary intake, obesity and other health outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Young adults are at risk for weight gain in the transition to independent adulthood; 2-year college students are at greater risk and understudied relative to 4-year students. This project conducted formative research for a randomized controlled weight gain prevention trial among 2-year college students, to ensure appropriateness of content and delivery of a curriculum originally developed for 4-year college students. Data were collected from community college students, faculty, and staff from October 2009 to August 2011. Work included focus groups and key informant interviews, curriculum pilot testing, and social network and support website beta testing. Based on focus groups and interviews, program content, course delivery modes, and communication channels were adjusted to meet population interests and preferences. The course was delivered successfully in pilot testing, and the website was received well by beta testers. Formative work successfully guided program adaptations to address population needs.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Translational Behavioral Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: We examined trends from 1999 to 2010 in adolescents' self-reported fast-food restaurant use alongside maternal reports of fast-food consumption and purchasing from restaurants for family meals. Methods: Middle- and high-school student participants from Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota, represented diverse ethnic/racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. Adolescents completed classroom-administered surveys and maternal caregivers responded by phone or mail. Results: The overall prevalence of frequent fast-food consumption, defined as 3 or more times per week, decreased from 1999 to 2010 among adolescents (1999: 25%; 2010: 19%; P < .001) and maternal caregivers (1999: 17%; 2010: 11%; P < .001), but sociodemographic disparities were apparent. For example, the prevalence of frequent fast-food consumption remained highest and did not significantly decrease among Black or Native American youths. The overall prevalence of frequent fast-food purchases for family meals did not significantly decrease; large decreases were observed only among Hispanic families (1999: 18%; 2010: 6%; P < .001). Conclusions: In light of previous findings linking frequent fast-food consumption to greater weight gain and poor nutrition, the observed decreases in consumption are encouraging and interventions are needed to address observed disparities.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · American Journal of Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Young adults are at risk for weight gain. Little is known about how to design weight control programs to meet the needs of young adults and few theory-based interventions have been evaluated in a randomized control trial. The Choosing Healthy Options in College Environments and Settings (CHOICES) study was funded to create a technology-based program for 2-year community college students to help prevent unhealthy weight gain. The purpose of this paper is to: 1) provide a brief background on weight-related interventions in young adults; 2) describe the study design for the CHOICES study, the conceptual model guiding the research and the CHOICES intervention; and 3) discuss implications of this research for health educators. Translation to health education practice: Our experiences from the CHOICES study will be useful in suggesting other theory-based models and intervention strategies that might be helpful in programs attempting to prevent unhealthy weight gain in young adults. In addition, this paper discusses important considerations for working with 2-year colleges on this type of health promotion work.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014