URI Seeks Women for Study on Exercise and Nutrition

Saturday, November 13, 2010


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The University of Rhode Island is conducting research to help older citizens reclaim a more active and independent lifestyle through nutritional counseling and physical activity.

URI is looking for overweight adult women ages 55 to 79 years willing to participate in a study that will look at the effect of weight loss and physical activity on an individual’s physical function and heart disease risk factors. Participants in the 16-week study may qualify if they are overweight or obese, are not involved in a regular exercise program and have remained within 10 pounds of their current weight over the last four months. Individuals also must be willing to attend regular meetings and physical activity sessions on the Kingston campus.

Nutrition, exercise, and Tai Chi

All participants will partake in a weight loss program that includes nutritional counseling, and half of these participants will be randomly selected to participate in a supervised Tai Chi program. All participants will undergo tests for muscle strength, physical functioning, and body composition as well as cholesterol, glucose, insulin levels and other potential risk factors for chronic disease. Participants will be given their individual results at the end of the study.

The College of the Environment and Life Sciences Community Access to Research and Extension Services provided $120,000 for the URI Dietary Education and Active Lifestyle Study, a collaboration of URI’s Department of Kinesiology and its Department of Nutrition and Food Services. Matthew Delmonico and Furong Xu, assistant professors of kinesiology, and Ingrid E. Lofgren, assistant professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences, are working together on the project.

Changing habits and maintaining them

Delmonico said one of the goals of the study is to help individuals change their lifestyle habits, with the hopes that participants will maintain these changes long term.

“Healthy weight loss is now recommended for relatively healthy overweight and obese older adults to help prevent chronic disease,” Delmonico said. “The goal now is to determine the best combination of interventions to optimize body composition for long-term health.”

Delmonico said the goal is to use data from UR-IDEAL to gain better understanding of the most sound interventions for healthy aging and to secure funding for larger scale community outreach programs focused on senior nutrition and exercise awareness.

For more information on the UR-IDEAL Study, call 401.874.4956 or email [email protected]


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