Scholarly Work - Health & Human Development

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    Public health restrictions, directives, and measures in Arctic countries in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Informa UK Limited, 2023-12) Peterson, Malory; Akearok, Gwen Healey; Cueva, Katie; Lavoie, Josée G.; Larsen, Christina VL; Jóhannsdóttir, Lára; Cook, David; Nilsson, Lena Maria; Rautio, Arja; Timlin, Ulla; San Sebastián, Miguel; Gladun, Elena; Rink, Elizabeth; Broderstadt, Ann Ragnhild; Dagsvold, Inger; Siri, Susanna; Ottendahl, Charlotte Brandstrup; Olesen, Ingelise; Zatseva, Larisa; Young, Rebecca Ipiaqruk; Chaliak, Ay’aqulluk Jim; Ophus, Emily; Stoor, Jon Petter A.
    Beginning January of 2020, COVID-19 cases detected in Arctic countries triggered government policy responses to stop transmission and limit caseloads beneath levels that would overwhelm existing healthcare systems. This review details the various restrictions, health mandates, and transmission mitigation strategies imposed by governments in eight Arctic countries (the United States, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, and Russia) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, through 31 January 2021s31 January 2021. We highlight formal protocols and informal initiatives adopted by local communities in each country, beyond what was mandated by regional or national governments. This review documents travel restrictions, communications, testing strategies, and use of health technology to track and monitor COVID-19 cases. We provide geographical and sociocultural background and draw on local media and communications to contextualise the impact of COVID-19 emergence and prevention measures in Indigenous communities in the Arctic. Countries saw varied case rates associated with local protocols, governance, and population. Still, almost all regions maintained low COVID-19 case rates until November of 2020. This review was produced as part of an international collaboration to identify community-driven, evidence-based promising practices and recommendations to inform pan-Arctic collaboration and decision making in public health during global emergencies.
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    “Death by a Thousand Cuts”: Agriculture Producer Resiliency in the Western United States
    (Informa UK Limited, 2023-11) Freeman, Brenda; Grocke-Dewey, Michelle U.; Chichester, Lindsay; Breeding, Katherine; Stallones, Lorann; Minter, Monica
    Objective: Agricultural producers face a wide array of stress triggers, shocks, and long-term pressures such as drought, flooding, fire, government policies, financial insecurity, and physical injuries. Extant research has revealed that mental health stigma, lack of access to care in rural areas, and negative coping responses (alcohol abuse, suicide, prescription drugs use) exacerbate the challenge of producer responses to short and long-term adversity. Resilience, the traits, processes, and capacities of producers to adapt and transform their approach to farming or ranching, when necessary, in response to stress triggers or long-term pressures, has received less research attention, particularly in the Western United States. The purpose of the study was to apply an interactionist occupational resilience theoretical perspective to the investigation of contextual factors contributing to resilience in Western United States agricultural producers. Methods: Qualitative interviews (45 to 90 minutes) were conducted with agricultural producers (n=51) from Western states and territories. Applied thematic analysis with a phenomenological lens was utilized to analyze interview transcriptions. First and second level coding were conducted to derive themes. Results: The analysis revealed that resilience is based upon the interactions between traits of producers and the context of agriculture. Four themes were generated (Agricultural Life, External Stressors, Traits and Adaptations, and Supports and Resources), supported by subthemes. The themes and subthemes are depicted in an agricultural producer resiliency model. The findings shed light on the equivocal role of neighbors in providing support for each other and the double- edged sword of co-working with family. Conclusions: The findings underscore that social capital is an important mechanism for supporting farmers and ranchers, as those with stronger social resources are more resilient. We recommend more funding to tailor stress and mental health programming to the specifics of agriculture, integration of behavioral health in primary care as a mechanism to increase access to care, and more intentional technical assistance for farmers and ranchers on strategic planning and problem solving.
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    The need and development for a value-added toolkit—A case study with Montana specialty fruit growers
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2023-04) Garg, Sumedha; Jha, Gaurav; Kim, Sun-Hwa; Miller, Zachariah; Kuo, Wan-Yuan
    Introduction: Cold-hardy small fruits and berries have the potential for specialty fruit growers in the Intermountain West, where the climate is not suited for conventional fruit crops. In the last seven years, approximately 50 varieties of cold-hardy, bush fruit types have been researched in western Montana. Method: Hence with the increased small fruit and berry production, and interest of specialty fruit growers in value-added product development, this paper utilized participatory action research (PAR) to develop a value-added product development toolkit with specialty fruit growers and used an integrated logic model to discuss creating and implementing the toolkit. Firstly, we used an online survey to identify the needs and challenges of specialty fruit growers. Next, a value added toolkit is drafted using the principles of design thinking and involving a student-grower partnership. Thirdly, the specialty fruit grower's interest in and feedback on the drafted toolkit is evaluated using focus group discussions and individuals interviews, and the results are used to revise the toolkit. Lastly, the short, medium and long-term outcomes for this toolkit are discussed using the logic model. Results: From the survey, 61% of specialty fruit growers indicated an interest in value-added opportunities. Yet, focus group discussions and individual interviews found the biggest barriers to value-added product development are cost, resources, and environment. This indicated a co-created toolkit will be a beneficial solution. During focus group and individual interviews, the growers suggested including the toolkit as part of coursework in semester-long classes. This will address issues of continuity and funding. Discussion: Overall, this study deployed PAR methods to propose with Montana specialty fruit growers a solution to their increasing needs in value-added pursuits, implying short-term economic benefits but also long-term socio-ecological benefits. The participatory model of creating value-added resources presented by this paper can benefit other small-scale specialty crop growers in underserved regions.
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    Improving Chronic Illness Self-Management with the Apsáalooke Nation: The Báa nnilah Project, a cluster randomized trial protocol
    (MDPI, 2023-10) Keene, Shannen; Allen, Sarah; Knows His Gun McCormick, Alma; Trottier, Coleen; Bull Shows, Brianna; Hallet, John; Deernose, Rae; Held, Suzanne
    Treatment fidelity remains underreported in health intervention research, particularly among Indigenous communities. One explanation for this gap is the lack of culturally consonant strategies listed in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Behavior Change Consortium (BCC) treatment fidelity framework, the gold standard for understanding and measuring fidelity. This paper focuses on the development and implementation of a culturally consonant treatment fidelity support plan across two of the five BCC fidelity areas, provider training and treatment delivery, within a chronic illness self-management program for the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation. Our team selected and adapted strategies from, and added strategies to, the BCC framework, that centered on relational accountability and the Apsáalooke culture. To be culturally consonant, we approached treatment fidelity as supporting Aakbaabaaniilea (Apsáalooke program facilitators) rather than monitoring them. This resulted in the development of a fifth treatment fidelity area: building and fostering relationships. We propose that fidelity to relational accountability is the foundation of successful programs in Indigenous communities. This suggests an important shift from tracking what was conducted in an intervention to prioritizing how things were conducted. We encourage others to view the BCC framework as a starting point in developing fidelity strategies that are consonant with local cultures.
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    Built environment approaches: Extension personnel's preferences, barriers, and facilitators
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2022-10) Balis, Laura E.; Grocke-Dewey, Michelle
    Introduction: Interventions that modify the built environment can increase population physical activity levels and prevent chronic disease. The national Cooperative Extension System is poised to implement built environment approaches (i.e., pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure and enhanced access to physical activity spaces), but implementation strategies (i.e., methods or techniques to move research to practice) are needed to improve uptake. Effective implementation strategies address relevant barriers and capitalize on facilitators. The purpose of this study was to understand 1) barriers and facilitators to implementing built environment approaches in two state Extension systems, 2) preferences for built environment approaches, and 3) preferences for implementation strategies. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was used to understand Extension personnel's preferences for and barriers and facilitators to built environment approaches through a mixed-methods study design. This work was informed by anthropological inquiry as the overall research philosophy, and by the Health Impact Pyramid, Leeman et al.'s classification of implementation strategies, and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research as the theoretical frameworks. The survey was distributed to eligible Extension personnel (n = 42) in two states. Quantitative data analysis consisted of numbers/proportions and Friedman tests. Qualitative analysis was completed through a rapid deductive approach to quickly produce actionable results. Results: Fourteen respondents (33%) completed the survey. Most had not implemented physical activity interventions in their communities or had implemented only individual-level interventions, though were interested in implementing built environment approaches. Benches, playground improvements, and crosswalks were the most desired approaches, while facilitation, assessing community strengths and needs, and technical assistance were desired implementation strategies. The most common barriers were relative priority and available resources; facilitators were external policy and incentives and implementation climate. Discussion: Extension personnel are receptive to built environment approaches and engaged with community coalitions. Yet, invested parties prefer individual-level interventions, and agents perceive a lack of resources for implementation. Implementation strategies that build capacity in both the Extension system and community coalitions may address these barriers through increasing relative priority and sharing existing resources. This work is a first step toward compiling implementation strategies to address relevant barriers to built environment approaches in community settings.
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    Individual Muscle Contributions to the Acceleration of the Center of Mass During the Barbell Back Squat in Trained Female Subjects
    (Wolters Kluwer, 2023-08) Goodman, William W.; Helms, Eric; Graham, David F.
    Goodman, WW, Helms, E, and Graham, DF. Individual muscle contributions to the acceleration of the centre of mass during the barbell back squat in trained females. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2023—The squat is used to enhance performance and rehabilitate the lower body. However, muscle forces and how muscles accelerate the center of mass (CoM) are not well understood. The purpose was to determine how lower extremity muscles contribute to the vertical acceleration of the CoM when squatting to parallel using 85% one-repetition maximum. Thirteen female subjects performed squats in a randomized fashion. Musculoskeletal modeling was used to obtain muscle forces and muscle-induced accelerations. The vasti, soleus, and gluteus maximus generated the largest upward accelerations of the CoM, whereas the muscles that produced the largest downward acceleration about the CoM were the hamstrings, iliopsoas, adductors, and tibialis anterior. Our findings indicate that a muscle's function is task and posture specific. That is, muscle function depends on both joint position and how an individual is interacting with the environment.
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    Perceived stress, stressors, and preferred stress management strategies among western agricultural producers
    (American Psychological Association, 2023-05) Grocke-Dewey, Michelle; Brennan, Alison; Freeman, Brenda; Weas, Heather; Gutheil, Jessica; Stallones, Lorann; McMoran, Don
    Chronic stress is associated with adverse physical, emotional, and social health outcomes such as increased rates of chronic disease, anxiety, behavioral inhibition, and well-being. In the United States, farmers and ranchers experience some of the highest levels of these adverse health outcomes. This study presents data from the Western Region Agricultural Producer Stress Survey, a survey tool designed to better understand these stressors and desired mitigation techniques. A sample of 767 agricultural producers participated in a survey that gauged their perceived stress levels, sources of stress, desired stress management topics, and preferred methods of receiving information. Workload, financial worries, and lack of time presented as the top stressors. Women averaged higher levels of both perceived stress and stressor pileup than men. Interest in stress management topics also differed significantly by gender and age, with men more interested in parenting classes and support groups, and younger producers more interested in nutrition/cooking classes. The most preferred methods for receiving information were online options. Data suggest that, on average, producers across the Western region of the United States are experiencing a medium level of stress. While this is concerning, producers expressed interest in learning more about a variety of topics to help them manage their stress and improve their well-being. Better understanding of agricultural producers’ preferences for stress management topics, as well as their preferred dissemination methods, is critical in terms of providing this often underserved population with appropriate mental health assistance.
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    Food insecurity among households with children during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, 2023-06) Houghtaling, Bailey; Haynes-Maslow, Lindsey; Andress, Lauri; Hardison-Moody, Amnie; Grocke-Dewey, Michelle; Holston, Denise; Patton-Lopez, Megan; Pradhananga, Nila; Prewitt, T.; Shanks, Justin; Webber, Eliza; Byker Shanks, Carmen
    Understanding impacts of the COVID-19 pan­demic among households with children is neces­sary to design appropriate public health responses that protect food and nutrition security. The objec­tive of this research was to understand predictors of food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic among households with at least one child (<18 years), including whether foods reported as out-of-stock were associated with the likelihood of food insecurity. An online survey using validated measures and open-ended questions was distrib­uted to a convenience sample in five states—Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and West Virginia—during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic (April through September of 2020). Predictors of food insecurity (race/ethnicity, age, marital status, education, federal nutrition assistance program participation, number of adults and children in the household, rurality, and missing foods when shopping) among households with children during the COVID-19 pandemic were modeled using logistic regression (p < 0.05, a priori). To further illuminate household experiences during this time, two researchers independently coded open-ended survey question data using inductive and deductive approaches to construct themes. Households with children had increased odds of experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic if they had the following characteristics: Hispanic ethnicity; age between 25 and 44 years; additional adult household members; economic hardship; SNAP/WIC participation; being widowed, divorced, or separated; and report­ing foods not available when shopping. Partici­pants described mainly negative changes to dietary patterns and practices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also described food security chal­lenges and ideas for improving food security. Con­sistent with other data collected and analyzed dur­ing the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study contributes findings that emphasize the need for enhanced public health responses and emer­gency preparedness measures that protect food and nutrition security. Because of the increased short- and long-term consequences including exposure to adverse circumstances, impaired learning, risks to mental health, and poor health outcomes, ensuring an adequate food supply is especially important for households with children.
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    Scaffolding collective agency curriculum within food-systems education programs
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2023-05) Jordan, Nicholas R.; Valley, Will; Donovan, Dennis; Clegg, Daniel J.; Grossman, Julie; Hunt, Natalie; Michaels, Thomas; Peterson, Hikaru; Rogers, Mary A.; Sames, Amanda; Stein, Mary
    Collective agency (CA) can be defined as the shared understanding, will, and ability of a heterogenous group to take action and work together toward a common goal. We are motivated by the premise that CA is central to meeting the challenges inherent to 21st century food systems. These challenges include maintaining sustainable agricultural production and meeting nutritional needs of a growing population while protecting the climate, wildlife, soil, air and water quality, and enhancing equity, inclusion and justice for those who work in or engage with these systems. Given the importance of CA in food systems, university programs focused on food systems must address it. To date, despite many calls for higher education to build skills in CA, implementation has been minimal. Single courses addressing CA exist in some program-level curricula, but we know of no previous efforts in food-systems degree programs to systematically cultivate CA across their curriculum through scaffolding, i.e., interconnection and integration of learning activities across courses, so as to enhance their complementarity and impact. We (a consortium of university faculty building food systems curricula, located at University of British Columbia, Montana State University, and University of Minnesota) developed our approach to teaching CA through an action-research process, conducted during 2019–2022. In this paper, we report on our process and outline an emergent conceptual model of a curriculum for CA that can be embedded within broader, program-level food systems curricula. We describe its elements and share our experiences in implementing these elements. We conclude by describing current efforts to further develop CA curricula in the context of food-systems degree programs.
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    The Importance of the Food System For Rural Vitality and Livelihoods In the US Northern Great Plains
    (Brandon University, 2023-03) Ebel, Roland; Thornton, Alexandra
    The geopolitical U.S. Northern Great Plains encompass the state areas of Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. While other parts of the United States have seen considerable outmigration from rural areas, this region has widely maintained its rural population due to favorable employment, education, food security, and relatively low poverty levels. Currently, the expansion of large-scale agriculture, often poor food environments, and demographic trends, as well as external factors such as climate change, may affect population densities, livelihoods, and the vitality of the rural U.S. Northern Great Plains. We suggest a strong role of the food system in shaping these developments. For our study, we processed socio-economic and food-system-related data from demographic databases in descriptive statistics to explore the impact of the food system on demographic and socio-economic parameters. Specifically, we present data on how selected parameters of demography, employment, education, poverty, agriculture, food security, food accessibility, and health have changed during the past four decades in the U.S. Northern Great Plains, specifically its rural parts. We later discuss how these changes may contribute to future demographic and livelihood developments. We aim to offer our readers an understanding of the complex and interacting developments affecting rural residents of the U.S. Northern Great Plains and the important role the food system plays in the present and future of the region.
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    Women’s longitudinal social media behaviors and experiences during a global pandemic
    (Informa UK Limited, 2023-03) Vaterlaus, J. Mitchell; Spruance, Lori A.; Patten, Emily V.
    This longitudinal mixed-methods study explored women’s (n = 124) lived experiences with social media in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women completed surveys at two points in time (March 2020 and April 2021). Follow-up interviews were also conducted with 33 women in April 2021. A longitudinal qualitative approach was used to identify three themes: (a) social media “works as an echo chamber,” (b) connection and community, and (c) information and misinformation overload. Women significantly decreased their social media behaviors focused on connecting with others, active engagement with COVID-19 content (e.g., creating a personal post, liking a post), and passive engagement with COVID-19 content (e.g., reading a post) between March 2020 and April 2021.
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    Identifying sensory drivers of liking for plant‐based milk coffees: Implications for product development and application
    (Wiley, 2022-12) Chung, Yi‐Lin; Kuo, Wan‐Yuan; Liou, Bo‐Kang; Chen, Po‐Chuan; Tseng, Yu‐Chuan; Huang, Rui‐Yu; Tsai, Mei‐Chu
    The global plant-based product market is growing rapidly, and plant-based milks show promising potential in the coffee beverage sector. This study aimed to identify sensory drivers of liking of plant-based milk coffees for guiding the development of plant-based products with competitive advantages over dairy milk coffees. Twelve coffee samples were prepared with plant-based (oat, soy, almond, and coconut) and dairy (cow) milk. Quantitative descriptive analysis was used to generate sensory attribute terms for the 12 samples. Check-all-that-apply (CATA) questions were given to consumers to evaluate the sensory profiles and consumer acceptance of the 12 samples. Correspondence analysis and cluster analysis of the CATA results from 80 consumers showed that the oat and soy milk coffee samples were closer to what the consumers perceived as “typical” milk products, while the coconut and almond milk coffee samples were closer to the “flavored” milk products. Partial least squares regression results revealed that the attributes smooth, milky, and thick were important drivers of liking for the milk coffee samples. On the contrary, rancid oil, greasy, astringent, and rice bran were the major sensory attributes lowering the panelists’ acceptance of the milk coffee samples. The majority of consumers (53.5%) were “dairy milk lovers,” who specifically liked the dairy milk coffee sample and had low acceptance for the plant-based milk coffee samples. There was also a group of consumers (46.2%) classified as “plant-based milk coffee lovers.” They enjoyed coffees prepared with a wide range of milks (both dairy and nondairy milks) and represent high-potential consumers for plant-based milk coffee products.
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    Built environment approaches: Extension personnel's preferences, barriers, and facilitators
    (Frontiers Media SA, 2022-10) Balis, Laura E.; Grocke-Dewey, Michelle
    Introduction: Interventions that modify the built environment can increase population physical activity levels and prevent chronic disease. The national Cooperative Extension System is poised to implement built environment approaches (i.e., pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure and enhanced access to physical activity spaces), but implementation strategies (i.e., methods or techniques to move research to practice) are needed to improve uptake. Effective implementation strategies address relevant barriers and capitalize on facilitators. The purpose of this study was to understand 1) barriers and facilitators to implementing built environment approaches in two state Extension systems, 2) preferences for built environment approaches, and 3) preferences for implementation strategies. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was used to understand Extension personnel's preferences for and barriers and facilitators to built environment approaches through a mixed-methods study design. This work was informed by anthropological inquiry as the overall research philosophy, and by the Health Impact Pyramid, Leeman et al.'s classification of implementation strategies, and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research as the theoretical frameworks. The survey was distributed to eligible Extension personnel (n = 42) in two states. Quantitative data analysis consisted of numbers/proportions and Friedman tests. Qualitative analysis was completed through a rapid deductive approach to quickly produce actionable results. Results: Fourteen respondents (33%) completed the survey. Most had not implemented physical activity interventions in their communities or had implemented only individual-level interventions, though were interested in implementing built environment approaches. Benches, playground improvements, and crosswalks were the most desired approaches, while facilitation, assessing community strengths and needs, and technical assistance were desired implementation strategies. The most common barriers were relative priority and available resources; facilitators were external policy and incentives and implementation climate. Discussion: Extension personnel are receptive to built environment approaches and engaged with community coalitions. Yet, invested parties prefer individual-level interventions, and agents perceive a lack of resources for implementation. Implementation strategies that build capacity in both the Extension system and community coalitions may address these barriers through increasing relative priority and sharing existing resources. This work is a first step toward compiling implementation strategies to address relevant barriers to built environment approaches in community settings.
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    Association of Physical Educators’ Socialization Experiences and Confidence with Respect to Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program Implementation
    (MDPI AG, 2022-09) Merica, Christopher Barton; Egan, Cate A.; Webster, Collin A.; Mindrila, Diana; Karp, Grace Goc; Paul, David R.; Orendorff, Karie Lee
    Comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAPs) are recommended to support physical education (PE) and increase the amount of physical activity (PA) youth receive each day. However, adoption of CSPAPs in the United States is low. PE teachers are well positioned to lead the implementation of CSPAPs, but research is needed to better understand (a) PE teachers’ confidence to assume the multiple roles involved with CSPAP implementation and (b) the factors that are associated with such confidence. This study examined PE teachers’ role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE) as a measure of PE teachers’ CSPAP-related confidence and its association with seminal life experiences as framed within teacher socialization theory. A survey was emailed to a stratified-random sample of 2976 PE teachers and distributed on social media, garnering a total of 259 responses. Exploratory structural equation modeling supported a three-factor solution for teacher socialization variables (acculturation, professional socialization and organizational socialization), in line with the theoretical framework, and a single factor solution for RBSE. Professional socialization and organizational socialization were significant predictors of RBSE, and qualitative data from open-ended survey questions supported these relationships. The results highlight the importance of preservice teacher education and current employment contexts in PE teachers’ CSPAP-related confidence.
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    Young Adults’ Closest Sibling Relationships and Interactive Technology
    (Taylor & Francis, 2022-11) Vaterlaus, J. Mitchell; Dodson, Madison; Bock, Sarah H.
    Sibling relationships are conceptualized as one of the longest lasting relationships, but empirical information about young adults’ sibling relationships is limited. The current study aimed to understand how young adults (n = 239) conceptualized sibling closeness and how interactive technology influenced their self-identified closest sibling relationship. Through qualitative content analysis, three themes were identified regarding experiences with sibling closeness: (1) determinate and steady features, (2) congruence in relationship expectations, and (3) communication. In a second qualitative content analysis, participants’ perceptions of how interactive technology influenced their closest sibling relationship were represented in three themes: (1) functionality, (2) technology that promotes quality communication, and (3) technology is not a benefit for sibling relationship.
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    Eight weeks of lentil consumption attenuates insulin resistance progression without increased gastrointestinal symptom severity – A Randomized Clinical Trial
    (Elsevier, 2022-10) Wilson, Stephanie M.G.; Peterson, Emily J.; Gaston, Marcy E.; Kuo, Wan-Yuan
    Lentils lower acute glycemic responses and promote satiety, benefits that may aid in chronic disease prevention. However, perceived gastrointestinal (GI) effects may deter inclusion of dietary pulses in the diet. We hypothesized that 8 weeks of lentil-based vs meat-based meals would improve glycemic control and improve satiety in metabolically at-risk, nondiabetic adults. Because GI symptoms are rarely reported, we also explored the temporal effects of symptom severity. Adults with an increased waist circumference (male > 40 inches, female > 35 inches) participated in an 8-week dietary intervention that included 5 prepared midday meals each week that were isocaloric but varied in cooked green lentil dosage: 0 g (CON), 300 g (MOD), or 600 g (HI). Assessments included glucose and insulin integrated area under the curve measured during a 75-g carbohydrate tolerance test, hepatic Homeostatic Model of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), and peripheral insulin resistance. On 1 randomized day each week, satiety was assessed at 4:00 pm and GI symptoms at 8:00 pm. A linear model assessed changes in glycemic and GI measures by meal group. Thirty adults (mean ± SD; age, 41.6 ± 11.7 years, body mass index, 35.1 ± 6.3) completed the intervention. HOMA-IR increased in CON (+1.2 units) and decreased in a dose-dependent manner in MOD (–0.9 units, P = .03) and HI (–1.5 units, P < .01) relative to CON. Most participants (87.4%) reported no to mild GI symptoms. Of these, flatulence was mild on average with bloating, abdominal discomfort, and cramping severity 0.3, 0.5, and 0.5 units lower (P < .001). We observed a dose-dependent reduction on rising hepatic insulin resistance and low GI symptom severity with long-term lentil consumption in metabolically at-risk adults.
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    Barriers and Opportunities: Specialty Cultivated Mushroom Production in the United States
    (MDPI, 2022-10) Moxley, Alexandria; Ebel, Roland; Cripps, Cathy L.; Austin, Caroline Graham; Stein, Mary; Winder, Meaghan
    Producing and consuming specialty cultivated mushrooms (SCMs), cultivated mushrooms outside of the Agaricus genus, has the potential to positively impact sustainable food systems. Few studies have examined consumer perceptions of SCMs and industry-wide trends of SCM production in the United States (US), despite the USD 66.1 million in SCM sales in the US during 2020. This study looked at the barriers to and opportunities for cultivating, marketing, and consuming SCMs in the US by conducting a producer survey with SCM facilities in the US (n = 63). Survey results found diversification across products and practices within the SCM industry and on an individual business level. The most common place SCM growers sold their products was farmers’ markets (n = 63). The majority (53%) of growers (n = 60) used diverse (four or more) approaches to advertise their products. The majority of SCM growers (57%) indicated they had participated in a community outreach event in the past five years to help promote their SCM products (n = 63). Findings indicate there are opportunities for greater SCM business owner diversity. Our results indicate that production of SCMs may support economic, environmentally, and socio-culturally sustainable food systems and that there is further room for increased sustainability across the industry.
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    The global food environment transition based on the socio-demographic index
    (Elsevier BV, 2022-06) Downs, Shauna M.; Ahmed, Selena; Warne, Teresa; Fanzo, Jessica; Loucks, Kelly
    Food environments are a critical point for reorienting the food system towards sustainable diets, as they are directly where consumers make decisions about which foods to acquire. Using global data, we examined shifts in food environments, and the availability, affordability, convenience, and quality of foods within them, over time on the basis of socio-demographic index (SDI) country groupings. Our findings provide evidence of a food environment transition where built environments have shifted from traditional to modern retail outlets between 2005 and 2019 and the availability and affordability of nutrient-rich foods has increased alongside growing sales of ultra-processed and ready-to-eat foods. This transition has implications for the identification of policy and program levers for promoting healthy and sustainable diets and reducing malnutrition globally.
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    The Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Food Supply in the Emergency Food System: A Case Study at 2 Food Pantries
    (Oxford Academic, 2021-10) Larison, LeeAnna; Shanks, Carmen Byker; Webber, Eliza; Routh, Brianna; Ahmed, Selena
    Background. The onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic increased demand for emergency food assistance and has caused operational shifts in the emergency food system. Objective. This research explored how the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the food supply of 2 food pantries. Methods. A case study approach was applied to collect data during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food supply data were collected weekly at 2 food pantries in southwest Montana for 17 wk in 2020. Surveys and interviews were conducted with food pantry clients and staff, respectively. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics were applied to analyze quantitative data. Food supply data were analyzed using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015, NOVA system, and Unprocessed Pantry Project (UP3) Framework. Thematic analysis was applied to qualitative data. Results. The food boxes collected between the 2 food pantries (n = 43) had a mean (± SD) total HEI-2015 score of 76.41 ± 7.37 out of a possible score of 100. According to both the NOVA and the UP3 Framework, 23.4% of the total food distributed was ultra processed food. Of the food distributed, 50.0% and 48.3% was fresh, unprocessed food according to NOVA and UP3 Frameworks, respectively. From staff interviews, 3 themes arose that describe the food pantry operations that experienced change during the COVID-19 pandemic, including food procurement, distribution preparation, and food distribution. Nine supporting subthemes describing the causes and consequences of the operational themes were identified. Staff perceived that the nutrient quality of the food boxes increased from food distributed previously to the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas over one-third (39.4%) of food pantry clients who responded to surveys preferred the food box model. Conclusions. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous operational challenges within food pantries. Food pantries overcame these challenges by swiftly and effectively altering operations so as to continue to distribute nutritious food boxes to pantry clients.
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    Determinants of the postprandial triglyceride response to a high-fat meal in healthy overweight and obese adults
    (Springer Nature, 2021-09) Wilson, Stephanie M.; Maes, Adam P.; Yeoman, Carl J.; Walk, Seth T.; Miles, Mary P.
    Background. Dyslipidemia is a feature of impaired metabolic health in conjunction with impaired glucose metabolism and central obesity. However, the contribution of factors to postprandial lipemia in healthy but metabolically at-risk adults is not well understood. We investigated the collective contribution of several physiologic and lifestyle factors to postprandial triglyceride (TG) response to a high-fat meal in healthy, overweight and obese adults. Methods. Overweight and obese adults (n = 35) underwent a high-fat meal challenge with blood sampled at fasting and hourly in the 4-hour postprandial period after a breakfast containing 50 g fat. Incremental area under the curve (iAUC) and postprandial magnitude for TG were calculated and data analyzed using a linear model with physiologic and lifestyle characteristics as explanatory variables. Model reduction was used to assess which explanatory variables contributed most to the postprandial TG response. Results. TG responses to a high-fat meal were variable between individuals, with approximately 57 % of participants exceeded the nonfasting threshold for hypertriglyceridemia. Visceral adiposity was the strongest predictor of TG iAUC (β = 0.53, p = 0.01), followed by aerobic exercise frequency (β = 0.31, p = 0.05), insulin resistance based on HOMA-IR (β = 0.30, p = 0.04), and relative exercise intensity at which substrate utilization crossover occurred (β = 0.05, p = 0.04). For postprandial TG magnitude, visceral adiposity was a strong predictor (β = 0.43, p < 0.001) followed by aerobic exercise frequency (β = 0.23, p = 0.01), and exercise intensity for substrate utilization crossover (β = 0.53, p = 0.01). Conclusions. Postprandial TG responses to a high-fat meal was partially explained by several physiologic and lifestyle characteristics, including visceral adiposity, insulin resistance, aerobic exercise frequency, and relative substrate utilization crossover during exercise.
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