Theses & Dissertations

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    Weight-trajectories, diet, and physical activity of mothers in the Guelph Family Health Study
    (University of Guelph, ) Weller, Sophia; Forbes, Laura
    This study contributes to the limited body of research on weight trajectories and lifestyle behaviors in women during the transition from pre- to post-pregnancy. The analysis included 26 women from the Guelph Family Health Study who became pregnant during their participation. The participants were categorized into weight gain, weight maintenance, and weight loss groups, although no participants fell into the weight loss category. Weight measurements, energy, macronutrient intake, and physical activity levels were assessed using independent t-tests and weight trajectories were depicted through line graphs for each group. Weight measurements were obtained through in-person assessments or self-assessment, while dietary intake was evaluated using self-reported 24-hour recall and physical activity was measured using the IPAQ short version. All participants provided a minimum of one pre- and post-pregnancy weight measurement, along with one or more physical activity or dietary intake assessment results. The findings revealed that compared to women who maintained their weight, those who experienced weight gain were significantly more physically active post-pregnancy and had a significantly higher increase in fat intake pre- to post-pregnancy. This study highlights the importance of further research to investigate weight trajectories in pregnant women, with a particular focus on understanding the long-term impact of diet and physical activity behaviors on postnatal weight trajectories.
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    Food Uniting Neighbours (f.u.n.): Using the Co-design Process to Identify Interventions to Improve Nutritious Food Access
    (University of Guelph, ) Any, Marciane; Haines, Jess
    Most health promotion interventions use a “top-down” approach, where experts create and implement the interventions. An alternative, collaborative approach is a co-design process, which involves researchers, stakeholders, and end-users working together to produce interventions that address the unique needs of their community. The objective of this project was to describe the process used to engage end-users in the co-designing of interventions aimed at increasing nutritious food access in Onward Willow. Descriptive statistics, Dotmocracy totals, and template analysis were used to analyze end-users’ perspectives and ideas regarding future food access actions they believed would increase nutritious food access in their community. Analysis revealed that Onward Willow residents want the promotion of community, inclusivity, strong infrastructure, dignity, increased food choices, and greater access to high quality foods from future food-based programming. They prioritized grocery gift cards, transportation, workshops, garden spaces, and community cafes as action items to improve nutritious food access within their community.
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    Patterns of Dietary Supplement Use Among GBT2Q Men and Non- Binary Individuals
    (University of Guelph, ) Ghazitabatabai, Seyedeh Yasaman; El Khoury, Dalia
    There is a lack of research regarding dietary supplement use among Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-spirit, Queer (GBT2Q) men and non-binary individuals. This research aims to investigate patterns and predictors of dietary supplement use among this population. An online questionnaire was completed by 204 participants (52.5% men, 43.1% gay, mean age 29.34  6.77) who were consuming supplements at the time of recruitment. Overall, the most consumed supplements were vitamins/minerals (92.2%), proteins (84.3%), and carbohydrates (77.5%). Our findings revealed that identifying as certain genders and sexualities was significantly associated with the types of dietary supplements consumed. Most common reason for consuming supplements was to improve immunity and most common source of information was health professionals. This investigation indicates the importance of educating health care professionals regarding the safe use of dietary supplements and concludes the importance of identifying predictors of dietary supplement use to inform adequate policymaking and research.
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    Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on adult day programs in Guelph from the care partner perspective
    (University of Guelph, ) Karani, Kareena; Wilson, Kimberley
    This study explored the perspectives of care partners on the impact of the pandemic for whom they are caring for using Adult Day Programs (ADPs) in the Guelph region in Ontario. The research goal was to better understand the experiences of care partners using ADPs and lessons learned for future program planning in the context of the pandemic. Thirty care partners completed a survey that was distributed online and paper. A survey research method was used in which closed-ended questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics and open-ended questions were analyzed using content analysis. Findings showed that care partners benefitted from personal time, personal support navigating caregiving challenges, and reduced feelings of worry through sustained connection and ongoing staff communication via ADPs. Lessons learned included considering accessibility, that virtual programming does not work for everyone, and the importance of increasing the number of days available and extending the hours of ADPs.
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    A quasi-experimental comparison of equipment-based and naturalized playgrounds: Examining the impact on young children’s learning and development
    (University of Guelph, ) Squires, Kimberly; van Rhijn, Tricia
    Outdoor play and outdoor nature play are critical for children’s learning and development. It is important to investigate the variety of outdoor environments that children engage in to better understand how different settings offer varied opportunities and impact children’s outcomes. Playgrounds are a common early childhood education and care (ECEC) outdoor environment for young children; however, there is limited comprehensive research and understanding about the variety of ways that types of playgrounds, such as equipment-based and naturalized, may impact children’s play, learning, and development. Through a quasi-experimental convergent mixed-method design, this research project examined a transition from equipment-based to naturalized playgrounds within the toddler and preschool programs at a licensed child care centre. This dissertation includes three articles that each address a unique aspect of the larger comprehensive research project and aim to increase understanding about how the naturalization of an ECEC outdoor environment can impact children’s play, learning, and development. The first article concerns children’s social and cognitive play behaviours on the two different types of playgrounds and found significant increases in the toddler-aged children’s group play and constructive play. The second article compared children’s physical activity levels and movement patterns using accelerometers and spatial behaviour mapping. Significant decreases in physical activity were found; however, qualitative analysis through spatial behaviour mapping suggested that this could be due to children engaging in extended play interactions. Lastly, the third article focused on Early Childhood Educators’ perceptions of the impact of playground naturalization on children’s play, learning, and development. Several themes were generated through a thematic analysis process which showed that educators perceived the naturalization of the playground as positively impacting children overall, especially at the two-year follow up. This research project contributes to the existing body of research comparing equipment-based and naturalized playgrounds by investigating new aspects of children’s development, incorporating a new and comprehensive selection of methods, and more specifically exploring Early Childhood Educators’ perspectives. Findings from this project are valuable for considering how playgrounds can be designed to best support children’s development and learning and for making future practice, policy, and funding decisions within the field of ECEC.