2009 - 2010 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Background: Twenty percent of women in the United States have an eating disorder due to struggles involved in having the perfect body image. Since a number of college females have turned to dietary supplements, it is imperative that they are educated on how diet and exercise is the best option to lose weight.
Objective: To determine the effects of weight loss supplement and exercise. Furthermore, to elevate if females who follow a diet plan and exercise regularly have lower body mass index levels than females who take a diet supplement and exercise.
Design: Analytical survey study.
Methods: Surveys were distributed to undergraduate female students on the University of Kentucky campus. The participants included a total of 250 females (aged 20.22 +/- 2.86 years). Female students filled out surveys asking questions that pertained to age, weight, how long the subject participated in physical activity, what types of physical activity, types of supplements that subjects were taking, and any additional caffeine that was consumed.
Results: Data compared prior and current weight and body mass index from January 2009 to January 2010. The prior body weight was 132.12 lbs. with a body mass index of 22.04 kg/m². The current body weight was 132.27 lbs. with a body mass index of 22.07 kg/m². P-value of 0.77 reviewed that there was not significance between prior and current weight and BMI. Out of 62 females who did take a supplement during the trial (3.2%) used a supplement once a week, (27.4%) used a supplement 1-2 days/week, (37%) used a supplement 3-4 days/week, (22.5%) used a supplement 5-6 days/week, and (9.6%) used a supplement daily. Results also showed from the 250 subjects that 17 females (7%) exercised once a week, 72 females (30%) exercised 1-2 days/week, 96 females (39%) exercised 3-4 days/week, 57 females (23%) exercised 5-6 days/week, and 3 females (1 %) exercised daily.
Conclusion: The results obtained from the study do not correlate with the assumption that taking a dietary supplement and exercising reduces weight in regards to eating a healthy diet and exercising. Additional research and a larger target population are needed to further assess the role of supplements and exercise in weight management.