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Abstract

African American (AA) and Hispanic or Latina (HL) women are highly vulnerable to obesity and related conditions. Although it has been suggested increasing physical activity (PA) may lead to weight loss and consuming high fat foods and alcohol may contribute to weight gain, it is not clear how increased PA may be associated with improved dietary habits (DH). The purpose of this study was to determine whether increased PA was associated with decreased fat and alcohol consumption among AA and HL women participating in Health Is Power (1R01CA109403). Method: One hundred fifty-eight overweight or obese women (102 AA, 56 HL; M age=46.3 years, M BMI=34.8 kg/m2) were measured for BMI and PA (accelerometry). Women were instructed to wear the accelerometer around their waist at hip level and to continue wearing the accelerometer for seven days at all times, except when showering or sleeping. Participants completed interviewer administered questionnaires including the NCI Fat Screener, days drinking in the past 30 days and demographics. Drinks over the last 30 days (M=0.61) was dichotomized into no drinks versus any drinks. Results: Women reported lower rates of physical activity (M=19.9 min/day) and consuming a relatively high fat diet (M=31.6%). 55.1% of the participants reported consuming at least one alcoholic drink per month. PA was significantly correlated with fat consumption (r=.177) but not alcohol consumption, and fat consumption was significantly correlated with alcohol consumption (r=0.168, p<0.05). Simultaneous linear regressions found increased PA was associated with increased fat consumption (R2=0.123, Beta=0.205, p=0.013) after adjusting for ethnicity, age, BMI, education and income. Conclusions: No differences by ethnicity were found, suggesting that women who are more physically active tend to eat more calories from fat, regardless of ethnicity, likely from increased appetite. Low alcohol consumption rates in this sample may explain the lack of relationship between PA and alcohol consumption. Future studies can help elucidate whether feelings of hunger owing to increased PA affect fat consumption.

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