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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER NOTES
"Promoting Health Through Physical Activity"

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IN THIS ISSUE – MARCH 1998

RESEARCH NEWS – Genetics or Kinetics, Walking May Reduce Risk of Diabetes, Physical Activity and Stroke, Adolescents Attempt to Lose Weight.

TAKE A WALK - Walks for Multiple Sclerosis, National Parks, Earth Day and Healthier Babies.

NEWS YOU CAN USE – National Women’s Health Information Center, Weighty Matters, Top Ten Wildflower Walks, NHLBI Information Center Electronic Mailing List.

WEB SITES OF INTEREST – In Fitness and in Health, Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America, Counting Calories on the Internet, Taking Wellness to Heart, Make Nutrition Come Alive.

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RESEARCH NEWS:

GENETICS OR KINETICS? Data from the Finnish Twin Cohort were used to examine whether familial factors might help explain mortality differences by physical activity levels that have been observed in studies of unrelated individuals. Increased levels of physical activity were associated with decreased mortality for the entire cohort. For same-sex pairs of twins who were healthy at baseline, but discordant for death during follow-up, the risk of death declined for those with higher levels of physical activity. See "Relationship of Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Mortality: The Finnish Twin Cohort," by Kujala, Kaprio, Sarna, and Koskenvuo in JAMA 279: 440-444 (1998).

WALKING MAY REDUCE RISK OF DIABETES: Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, of the University of South Carolina, School of Public Health, and colleagues from the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study examined whether physical activity is associated with better insulin sensitivity, which has been shown to be linked to a reduced risk of diabetes. They found that an increase in non-vigorous as well as vigorous physical activity was associated with significantly higher insulin sensitivity. The authors suggest that regular moderate physical activity on most days of the week may decrease the risk of diabetes. See "Intensity and Amount of Physical Activity in Relation to Insulin Sensitivity: The Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study," by Mayer-Davis, D’Agostino, Karter, Haffner, Rewers, Saad, and Bergman in JAMA 279: 669-674 (1998).

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND STROKE: Data from the Northern Manhattan Stroke Study were used to investigate the reationship between physical activity and stroke in an urban, elderly, multi-ethnic population. The authors found that leisure time physical activity was related to a decreased occurrence of ischemic stroke and suggest that more emphasis on physical activity is needed in stroke prevention campaigns. See " Leisure-time Physical Activity and Ischemic Stroke Risk: The Northern Manhattan Stroke Study, " by Sacco, Gan, Boden-Albala, Lin, kargman, Hauser, Shea, and Paik in Stroke 29: 380-387 (1998).

ADOLESCENTS ATTEMPT TO LOSE WEIGHT: Data from students participating in the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey were analyzed to determine eating patterns and dietary factors associated with adolescents’ attempts to lose weight. Unhealthy eating and exercise were commonly observed, highlighting the need for effective nutrition and weight counseling among adolescents. See " Eating Patterns, Physical Activity, and Attempts to Change Weight Among Adolescents," by Middleman, Vasquex and Durant in the Journal of Adolescent health 22: 37-42 (1998).

TAKE A WALK…

MS WALK FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: April 18 –19. Eight to twelve mile walks in cities nationwide. Call your local Multiple Sclerosis Society or 1-800-FIGHT-MS.

MARCH FOR PARKS: April 18 - 25. Walks to benefit our national parks. Call 1-800-NAT-PARK.

EARTH DAY: April 22. Roadside cleanup walks. Call Earth Day USA at 1-603-924-7720 or visit the EnvrioLink Website at http://www.envirolink.org.

WALKAMERICA FOR HEALTHIER BABIES: April 26-27. Walk to benefit mothers and children. Call your local March of Dimes or 1-800-BIG-WALK.

NEWS YOU CAN USE

NATIONAL WOMEN’S HEALTH INFORMATION CENTER: The U. S. Public Health Service’s Office on Women’s Health developed the National Women’s Health Information Center to serve as a single point of entry for accessing federal and private sector sources on women’s health issues. Check it out if you have a question about women’s health in general, or about a specific program, concern or disease. You can reach the Center through its toll-free number (1-800-994-WOMAN) or through the Internet at http://www.4woman.org.

WEIGHTY MATTERS: Who says statistics can’t be interesting? Check out these facts compiled by Ryan McDonald for the January 1998 issue of Seventeen magazine:

*Amount of money the diet industry makes each year -- $33 billion.

* Percentage of dieters who regain all or some of their original weight loss --98%

* Percentage of all customers at weight loss clinics who are repeats -- 70-90%

* Percentage of American adolescents who are overweight – 21%

* Percentage of American adults who are overweight – 33%

* Dimensions of the average American female – 5’4", 144 pounds, size 12

* Dimensions of the average female model – 5’9 ½ ", 123 pounds, size 6

TOP TEN WILDFLOWER WALKS: Walking magazine’s Jennifer Lyons suggests that the dazzle of spring flowers outstrips the colors of fall. Here are her favorite trails: (1) Bidwell Park in Chico, CA, (2) Blue Ridge Parkway, in NC and Virginia, (3) Bowman’s Hill Widlflower Preserve in New Hope, PA, (4) Denali National Park in Denali, AK, (5) Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ, (6) Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA, (7) Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX, (8) Lyndon B. Johnson Historical Park in Stonewall, TX, (9) Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, SC, and (10) Mount Goliath in Denver, CO.

NHLBI INFORMATION CENTER ELECTRONIC MAILING LIST: You can get e-mail announcements about new materials from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute by subscribing to the NHLBI Information Center notification list. You’ll also get press releases and other information of interest. To subscribe: (1) Address an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LIST.NIH.GOV  (2) Leave subject field blank. (3) Type the command SUBSCRIBE NHLBIINFO-L in the body of the message. (4) Send the message. (5) When the LISTSERV sends you a confirmation message, hit the reply button, type okay in the body of the reply message, and send the message back to the LISTSERV.

WEB SITES OF INTEREST:

SAFE PEDESTRIANS AND A WALKABLE AMERICA: The Federal Highway Administration has developed a Pedestrian Safety Roadshow program, which shows the link between walkable communities and pedestrian safety. The web site gives the Roadshow’s schedule for the coming months, as well as information about bringing it to your community. Check it out at http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadshow/walk.

SELF MAGAZINE The Self Magazine website includes a section on fitness, health, and diet. It also includes workout slide shows. http://www.self.com

COUNTING CALORIES ON THE INTERNET: The Tufts University School of Nutrition Sciences and Policy has opened a new web site that rates 200 web sites on accuracy, depth of information and usability. It has links to the highest scoring sites and is managed by a Registered Dietician. Check it out at http://www.navigator.tufts.edu.

TAKING WELLNESS TO HEART: The American Heart Association has a web site designed especially to offer women everything they need to know about heart disease and stroke. Check it out at http://www.women.americanheart.org.

MAKE NUTRITION COME ALIVE: March is National Nutrition Month, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of the observance. Ideas and materials for this annual educational campaign can be found at the web site of the National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics of the American Dietetic Association. Check it out at http://www.eatright.org/Public/NutritionInformation/92.cfm.

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Prevention Research Center
Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
730 Devine Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29208
803-777-4253

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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