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July 2009

Comparison of Energy Intake with Energy Expenditure in Overweight Teens

The prevalence of overweight in American youth has nearly tripled in the past two decades. Yet, reported energy intakes in adolescents changed little from the 1970s to the 1990s according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This may indicate that low energy expenditure rather than excessive energy intake is contributing to rising obesity rates, but this assumes accurate energy intake reporting.

Dr. Connie Weaver, along with colleagues Dr. Berdine Martin, Dr. Dorothy Teegarden and Dr. Wayne Campbell in the Department of Foods and Nutrition and visiting scientist Deb Kerr of Curtin University, our study abroad partner institution in Perth, Australia conducted a study in overweight adolescent girls and boys to assess the energy reporting bias of diet records against the referent of total energy expenditure (TEE).  


Twenty girls (aged 12-15 y) and 14 boys (aged 12-14 y) participated in 2-3 week metabolic balance studies. Results indicated that food records underreported total energy expenditure by 35%. Underreporting of energy intake increased with BMI and the variance was predicted by dietary fat. These findings suggest that hidden or forgotten fat intake is a major influence on underestimated energy intake.  The findings may also explain previous reports noting that there has been an increased incidence of obesity, although energy intakes have not appeared to increase-it may be that energy intake is becoming more underreported as body weight increases in teens.

For more information, contact Dr. Connie Weaver, weavercm@purdue.edu

Foods and Nutrition Honors Students are Outstanding (Part 2 of 3)


Ten outstanding F&N seniors were honored for their hard work and accomplishments in May 2009 through their Honor’s Project. The Honor’s Project is a program open to students with a GPA >3.2. Students discover F&N research labs and work with a faculty mentor to conduct research or develop a program. Students must complete and present a research/scholarly study and have completed 6 credit hours of independent study to graduate with honors.

The first group of student projects was highlighted in June, and the final projects will be highlighted in the August Food for Thought.

Rebecca Howden – Rebecca completed her Honor’s Project with Mrs. Barb Mayfield. Her project objective was to develop and evaluate a family meal assessment tool that measures television viewing during meals and fruit and vegetable consumption in families served by WIC, EFNEP and FNP, the programs targeted by Indiana’s State Nutrition Action Plan (SNAP).

Jessica Harris – Jessica’s Honor’s Project was conducted with her faculty mentor Dr. Dorothy Teegarden. Her project evaluated the possibility that optimal vitamin D status may protect against mammary epithelial cell transformation with reduced development of tumors.

Derek Laan - Derek completed his Honor’s Project under faculty mentor Dr. Wayne Campbell. The title of his project is: “Effects of Aerobic and Resistance Exercise on Hunger and Energy Intake in Young Physically Active Adults”.

For more information on F&N student Honor’s Projects, contact Dr. Kim Buhman at kbuhman@purdue.edu

Community Health Engagement Program Inaugural Community Advisory Council Meeting

The Community Health Engagement Program (CHEP) of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) aims to link the experience and skills of community leaders, health professionals, and university researchers to improve the health of Indiana citizens. Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame are collaborating to engage Indiana communities and citizens as partners in the research process to achieve the goal of a healthier state. With the advice and participation of community leaders, CHEP seeks to provide better ways to conduct and disseminate research about health to Indiana’s communities and citizens.

On March 20, 2009, CHEP held the Inaugural Community Advisory Council Meeting at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. There was representation from over 50 organizations accounting for 74 meeting attendees. The purpose of the meeting was to engage Indiana Community Organizations who have an interest in the health needs of their Hoosier constituents in the research initiative within the state of Indiana.   Purdue Extension educators working with CHEP were an integral part of the meeting.   Dr. Carol Boushey and Donna Vandergraff serve on the CHEP Community Coordinating Committee which meets regularly to coordinate the activities of the group.

Guest speakers included Dr. Judy Monroe of the Indiana State Department of Health and Dr. Eric Meslin of the IU Center for Bioethics. This day long meeting included dynamic group discussions among the participants. The morning discussions addressed specific questions related to health issues, strategies to deal with these issues and the challenges faced when gathering the information to address these issues. The afternoon groups brainstormed on how CHEP can help their organization and the prioritization of CHEP tasks within the next six months. 

For more information contact: Carol Boushey, boushey@purdue.edu; or Donna Vandergraff, vandergraff@purdue.edu


Foods & Nutrition Department
Stone Hall, Room 213
700 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN

Phone: (765) 494-8228
Fax: (765) 494-0674

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