The proposed research project aims to investigate strategies to decrease risk for obesity and related complications of minority youth. Adolescent overweight and obesity rates have increased at an alarming rate in recent years, particularly for minority youth. As a result minority adolescents are increasingly developing negative medical consequences such as metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. Prevention of obesity has largely focused on increasing physical activity and improving the nutritional quality of diet. While these are considered effective approaches to preventing obesity, results tend to be only modest and not sustained over time. This indicates further research is needed to increase understanding of the predictors of physical activity, healthy diet, and risk for obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Type 2 diabetes in minority adolescents. A better understanding of factors related to physical activity and dietary choices is needed before interventions can effectively change minority adolescents'high risk for negative health trajectories. Past research has largely taken a psychosocial approach to understanding health behaviors often neglecting social contextual influences. Given the complexity of health behaviors, an understanding of motivational and social contextual influences, such as social and environmental supports and impediments on physical activity and diet, is important. As a first step toward that goal, the current study aims to assess social and environmental correlates of metabolic syndrome in minority youth. A diverse sample of 250 adolescents (and their parents) will be recruited to fill out questionnaires, wear activity monitors, and complete dietary recals. Information from medical chart review will be recorded. In order to prevent metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes in youth, accurate identification of high-risk youth is imperative. The present study will examine associations between primary social contextual factors (e.g., family, peers, school, neighborhood supports) and motivation in minority adolescents as they impact, a) choosing a healthy diet (i.e., kcals, fat intake, and fruit and vegetable intake) and engaging in physical activity (i.e., moderate to vigorous activity based on accelerometry estimates) and, b) clinical outcomes (i.e. BMI and metabolic syndrome). Lastly, as relatively little is known about motivational and social contextual correlates in youth, particularly minorities, the present study will conduct qualitative interviews to assess the barriers to physical activity and healthy diet in youth already displaying indicators for metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. The results of the proposed study are intended to identify strategies for preventing the development of obesity in minority youth and subsequent related medical problems including metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-K (29))
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Mcbryde, Kevin D
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University of South Carolina at Columbia
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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