• FTO variant rs9939609 is associated with body mass index and waist circumference, but not with energy intake or physical activity in European- and African-American youth.

      Liu, Gaifen; Zhu, Haidong; Lagou, Vasiliki; Gutin, Bernard; Stallmann-Jorgensen, Inger S; Treiber, Frank A.; Dong, Yanbin; Snieder, Harold; Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents (2010-05-05)
      BACKGROUND: Genome-wide association studies found common variants in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene associated with adiposity in Caucasians and Asians but the association was not confirmed in African populations. Association of FTO variants with insulin resistance and energy intake showed inconsistent results in previous studies. This study aimed to assess the influence of FTO variant rs9939609 on adiposity, insulin resistance, energy intake and physical activity in European - (EA) and African-American (AA) youth. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study in EA and AA youths. One thousand, nine hundred and seventy-eight youths (48.2% EAs, 47.1% male, mean age 16.5 years) had measures of anthropometry. Percent body fat (%BF) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT) by magnetic resonance imaging. Energy intake and physical activity were based on self report from up to 7 24-hour recalls. Physical activity was also measured by accelerometry. RESULTS: FTO rs9939609 was significantly associated with body mass index (BMI) (P = 0.01), weight (P = 0.03) and waist circumference (P = 0.04), with per-allele effects of 0.4 kg/m2, 1.3 kg and 0.8 cm, respectively. No significant association was found between rs9939609 and %BF, VAT, SAAT or insulin resistance (P > 0.05), or between rs9939609 and energy intake or vigorous physical activity (P > 0.05). No significant interactions of rs9939609 with ethnicity, gender, energy intake or physical activity were observed (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The FTO variant rs9939609 is modestly associated with BMI and waist circumference, but not with energy intake or physical activity. Moreover, these effects were similar for EAs and AAs. Improved understanding of the effect of the FTO variant will offer new insights into the etiology of excess adiposity.
    • Impact of stress reduction on negative school behavior in adolescents.

      Barnes, Vernon A.; Bauza, Lynnette B; Treiber, Frank A.; Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents; Department of Pediatrics; Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior (2008-01-16)
      BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of stress reduction via the Transcendental Meditation program on school rule infractions in adolescents. METHODS: Forty-five African American adolescents (ages 15-18 years) with high normal systolic blood pressure were randomly assigned to either Transcendental Meditation (n = 25) or health education control (n = 20) groups. The meditation group engaged in 15-min sessions at home and at school each day for 4 months. The control group was presented 15-min sessions of health education at school each day for 4 months. Primary outcome measures were changes in absenteeism, school rule infractions and suspension days during the four-month pretest period prior to randomization compared with the four-month intervention period. RESULTS: Comparing the pretest and intervention periods, the meditation group exhibited a mean decrease of 6.4 absentee periods compared to an increase of 4.8 in the control group (p <.05). The meditation group exhibited a mean decrease of 0.1 infractions over the four months compared to an increase of 0.3 in the control group (p <.03). There was a mean reduction of 0.3 suspension days due to behavior-related problems in the meditation group compared to an increase of 1.2 in the control group (p <.04). CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that the Transcendental Meditation program conducted in the school setting has a beneficial impact upon absenteeism, rule infractions, and suspension rates in African American adolescents.