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California Agriculture, Vol. 61, No.3

Examining obesity: What should we eat?
Cover:  As obesity rates climb, studies surge as well---sometimes resulting in contradictory claims about nutrition, weightloss and even ideal weight. In this special collection, our authors review a large body of scientific literature on obesity prevention, present new research findings and offer case studies of community interventions.
July-September 2007
Volume 61, Number 3

Peer-reviewed research and review articles

Food insecurity may be linked to childhood obesity in low-income Mexican-American families
by Patricia B. Crawford, Cathi L. Lamp, Yvonne Nicholson, Sarah Krathwohl, Mark Hudes, Marilyn S. Townsend
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Child-feeding style was not found to be related to parental weight status, but was associated with food insecurity.
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between past and current maternal food insecurity and child-feeding practices among low-income Mexican-American families. Participants in the study were mother-child pairs enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The findings suggest that low-income Mexican-American mothers who are currently experiencing food insecurity were more likely to worry that their children were eating too much food and tended to offer smaller portion sizes to their children than mothers not currently experiencing food insecurity. Mothers who were overweight were more than twice as likely to have overweight children than mothers who were not overweight.
Preventing obesity: What should we eat?
by Lorrene D. Ritchie, Gail Woodward-Lopez, Dana Gerstein, Dorothy Smith, Margaret Johns, Patricia B. Crawford
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
A 3-year systematic review of the scientifi c literature examined the dietary determinants of obesity.
To curb the escalating rates of obesity in California and across the nation, it is imperative to identify dietary behaviors that prevent excessive weight gain. Reports in the press are often conflicting and more often confuse than clarify the issue of what people should eat to prevent obesity. We recently conducted a comprehensive review of the literature published between 1992 and 2003 on the dietary determinants of obesity in children and adults. We examined secular trend data, mechanistic research, observational studies and prevention trials. We found that the dietary factors related to increased obesity were high intakes of dietary fat, sweetened beverages and restaurant-prepared foods, and the increased likelihood of skipping breakfast. Factors most likely to protect against obesity were the higher consumption of dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables, calcium and dairy products.
Overweight and obesity are associated with decreased magnesium intake in people with asthma
by Alexandra G. Kazaks, Judith S. Stern
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Eating a varied, magnesium-rich diet could be an affordable way to control asthma and obesity, particularly in low-income people.
Asthma is a serious health problem that is more prevalent among low-income persons. The risk of asthma and the severity of its symptoms may be increased by the low dietary intake of magnesium and other nutrients that protect against asthma, coupled with the high energy intakes that result in overweight and obesity. This study compared people with asthma to healthy controls, and showed that total body magnesium stores decreased with increasing weight, as measured by body mass index (BMI). Replacing low-magnesium foods with high-magnesium foods may be a practical, low-cost way to help reduce the risk of obesity and low magnesium status in people with asthma, especially in at-risk, low-income groups.
UCCE helps community coalitions reduce childhood overweight
by Gloria B. Espinosa-Hall, Diane Metz, Margaret Johns, Dorothy Smith, Patricia B. Crawford, Kirstin Siemering, Joanne Ikeda
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Case studies in Shasta, Solano and Kern counties show how to build coalitions that promote healthy eating and exercise habits for children and parents.
In 2001, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition specialists with the Center for Weight and Health introduced the Children and Weight: What Communities Can Do About It project, with the goal of reducing the prevalence of pediatric overweight. This project was designed to facilitate the formation of community coalitions, and to educate and empower them to improve or create environments that foster healthy lifestyles in children and their families at the local level. The project has been implemented in 13 California counties and by groups across the country. The “Spectrum of Prevention” is featured as a way to address the problem of pediatric overweight from multiple levels, ranging from educating individuals and providers to advocating for systemic and environmental change. Shasta CAN in Shasta County, the Solano County Children and Weight Coalition and the Kern County Childhood Overweight Coalition are presented as models of how coalitions can creatively plan and implement activities across the spectrum.
Local diffusion networks act as pathways to sustainable agriculture in the Sacramento River Valley
by Mark Lubell, Allan Fulton
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
A survey growers found that they rely on trusted local networks to obtain water-quality management information and comply with new rules.
Greater sustainability is one of the main goals of agricultural and natural resource policy in California and worldwide. “Diffusion networks,” which consist mainly of connections among producers, local outreach and education agencies and agricultural organizations, provide critical pathways for achieving sustainability. We analyzed the role of diffusion networks in the context of agricultural water-quality management in the Sacramento River Valley. Data from a survey of more than 1,200 agricultural producers demonstrates the role of diffusion networks in increasing satisfaction with environmental policies, participation in water-quality management programs and the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.
New late-season navel orange varieties evaluated for quality characteristics
by Tracy L. Kahn, Ottillia J. Bier, Robert J. Beaver
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Late-maturing navel oranges have extended the season for California's domestic and export fresh fruit market.
New early- and late-maturing navel orange varieties have expanded the navel orange season for California's domestic and export fresh-fruit market. For 5 years, we evaluated the fruit-quality characteristics of purported late-season varieties imported from Australia to determine whether they have any advantages over Lane Late, the first late-season navel orange imported from Australia and grown in California. Of the six varieties evaluated, Autumn Gold, Barnfield, Chislet, Powell and Lane Late had late-maturing characteristics, but none of these varieties stood out as having the latest maturing fruit for all traits associated with maturity at all nine locations studied. For certain locations, sample dates and years, there were significant differences among the varieties for quality traits associated with maturity, such as solids-to-acid ratio, percentage acidity and puncture resistance, but these differences varied depending upon location.
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California Agriculture, Vol. 61, No.3

Examining obesity: What should we eat?
Cover:  As obesity rates climb, studies surge as well---sometimes resulting in contradictory claims about nutrition, weightloss and even ideal weight. In this special collection, our authors review a large body of scientific literature on obesity prevention, present new research findings and offer case studies of community interventions.
July-September 2007
Volume 61, Number 3

Peer-reviewed research and review articles

Food insecurity may be linked to childhood obesity in low-income Mexican-American families
by Patricia B. Crawford, Cathi L. Lamp, Yvonne Nicholson, Sarah Krathwohl, Mark Hudes, Marilyn S. Townsend
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Child-feeding style was not found to be related to parental weight status, but was associated with food insecurity.
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between past and current maternal food insecurity and child-feeding practices among low-income Mexican-American families. Participants in the study were mother-child pairs enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The findings suggest that low-income Mexican-American mothers who are currently experiencing food insecurity were more likely to worry that their children were eating too much food and tended to offer smaller portion sizes to their children than mothers not currently experiencing food insecurity. Mothers who were overweight were more than twice as likely to have overweight children than mothers who were not overweight.
Preventing obesity: What should we eat?
by Lorrene D. Ritchie, Gail Woodward-Lopez, Dana Gerstein, Dorothy Smith, Margaret Johns, Patricia B. Crawford
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
A 3-year systematic review of the scientifi c literature examined the dietary determinants of obesity.
To curb the escalating rates of obesity in California and across the nation, it is imperative to identify dietary behaviors that prevent excessive weight gain. Reports in the press are often conflicting and more often confuse than clarify the issue of what people should eat to prevent obesity. We recently conducted a comprehensive review of the literature published between 1992 and 2003 on the dietary determinants of obesity in children and adults. We examined secular trend data, mechanistic research, observational studies and prevention trials. We found that the dietary factors related to increased obesity were high intakes of dietary fat, sweetened beverages and restaurant-prepared foods, and the increased likelihood of skipping breakfast. Factors most likely to protect against obesity were the higher consumption of dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables, calcium and dairy products.
Overweight and obesity are associated with decreased magnesium intake in people with asthma
by Alexandra G. Kazaks, Judith S. Stern
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Eating a varied, magnesium-rich diet could be an affordable way to control asthma and obesity, particularly in low-income people.
Asthma is a serious health problem that is more prevalent among low-income persons. The risk of asthma and the severity of its symptoms may be increased by the low dietary intake of magnesium and other nutrients that protect against asthma, coupled with the high energy intakes that result in overweight and obesity. This study compared people with asthma to healthy controls, and showed that total body magnesium stores decreased with increasing weight, as measured by body mass index (BMI). Replacing low-magnesium foods with high-magnesium foods may be a practical, low-cost way to help reduce the risk of obesity and low magnesium status in people with asthma, especially in at-risk, low-income groups.
UCCE helps community coalitions reduce childhood overweight
by Gloria B. Espinosa-Hall, Diane Metz, Margaret Johns, Dorothy Smith, Patricia B. Crawford, Kirstin Siemering, Joanne Ikeda
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Case studies in Shasta, Solano and Kern counties show how to build coalitions that promote healthy eating and exercise habits for children and parents.
In 2001, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition specialists with the Center for Weight and Health introduced the Children and Weight: What Communities Can Do About It project, with the goal of reducing the prevalence of pediatric overweight. This project was designed to facilitate the formation of community coalitions, and to educate and empower them to improve or create environments that foster healthy lifestyles in children and their families at the local level. The project has been implemented in 13 California counties and by groups across the country. The “Spectrum of Prevention” is featured as a way to address the problem of pediatric overweight from multiple levels, ranging from educating individuals and providers to advocating for systemic and environmental change. Shasta CAN in Shasta County, the Solano County Children and Weight Coalition and the Kern County Childhood Overweight Coalition are presented as models of how coalitions can creatively plan and implement activities across the spectrum.
Local diffusion networks act as pathways to sustainable agriculture in the Sacramento River Valley
by Mark Lubell, Allan Fulton
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
A survey growers found that they rely on trusted local networks to obtain water-quality management information and comply with new rules.
Greater sustainability is one of the main goals of agricultural and natural resource policy in California and worldwide. “Diffusion networks,” which consist mainly of connections among producers, local outreach and education agencies and agricultural organizations, provide critical pathways for achieving sustainability. We analyzed the role of diffusion networks in the context of agricultural water-quality management in the Sacramento River Valley. Data from a survey of more than 1,200 agricultural producers demonstrates the role of diffusion networks in increasing satisfaction with environmental policies, participation in water-quality management programs and the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.
New late-season navel orange varieties evaluated for quality characteristics
by Tracy L. Kahn, Ottillia J. Bier, Robert J. Beaver
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Late-maturing navel oranges have extended the season for California's domestic and export fresh fruit market.
New early- and late-maturing navel orange varieties have expanded the navel orange season for California's domestic and export fresh-fruit market. For 5 years, we evaluated the fruit-quality characteristics of purported late-season varieties imported from Australia to determine whether they have any advantages over Lane Late, the first late-season navel orange imported from Australia and grown in California. Of the six varieties evaluated, Autumn Gold, Barnfield, Chislet, Powell and Lane Late had late-maturing characteristics, but none of these varieties stood out as having the latest maturing fruit for all traits associated with maturity at all nine locations studied. For certain locations, sample dates and years, there were significant differences among the varieties for quality traits associated with maturity, such as solids-to-acid ratio, percentage acidity and puncture resistance, but these differences varied depending upon location.

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