Online Program

Momentary variations in snack food intake and physical activity among African-American women: Role of stress and emotions

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, FAAN, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ashley McDonald, MPH, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Colleen Corte, PhD, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Angela Odoms-Young, PhD, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Barth Riley, PhD, University of llinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background. African-American women have higher obesity rates than White women. Food choices and decisions regarding physical activity throughout the day contribute to obesity. This study examined the roles of stress and emotions in energy-dense, nutrient-poor snack food intake and physical activity engagement throughout the day in African-American women. Methods. Using signal-contingent sampling, 101 African-American women ages 25-65 were signaled once during five blocks of time daily for seven days to complete a web-based “momentary” survey via smartphones (n=35 signals). At each signal, we measured snack food intake (five items; e.g., chocolate), moderate or vigorous physical activity (ten items; e.g., Zumba), positive emotions (6 items), negative emotions (12 items), stressful social interaction, and other stressful events. Two-level models (L1=occasion; L2= person) were used to estimate relationships controlling for demographics. Results. On average, women completed 69% of the 35 surveys (S.D.=24.5). On average, women reported eating snack foods 43.7% (S.D.=18.2) of the times they were signaled and engaging in moderate-vigorous physical activities 10.3% (S.D.=13.2) of the times they were signaled. Experiencing a stressful event was associated with a 35% increase in the odds of snack food intake. Neither positive nor negative emotions were associated snack food intake. Positive emotions were associated with an increased likelihood of engaging in moderate-vigorous physical activities. Experiencing a stressful social interaction was associated with a 56% increase in the odds of moderate-vigorous physical activity engagement. Conclusions. A better understanding of factors that affect momentary decisions about snack food intake and physical activity would inform more effective interventions.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the utility of ecological momentary assessment to understanding social determinants of obesity-related behaviors. Describe relationships among stress, emotions, and obesity-related behaviors. Identify three implications of the results for obesity prevention and treatment for African-American women.

Keyword(s): Stress, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.