• Do weight status and weight perception predict academic acheivement in adolescents? A longitudinal analysis of the COMPASS study.

      Livermore, Maram; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Abstract Background: Recent evidence suggests perceptions of overweight account for the psychosocial consequences typically associated with obesity. Previous research indicates the presence of an obesity achievement gap, yet limited research has explored weight perception in association with academic achievement. Previous studies have focused on grades and degree attainment, without consideration of student aspirations and perceived support and ability to achieve higher levels of education. This thesis examined how Body Mass Index (BMI) classification and weight perception relate to academic performance and postsecondary aspirations and expectations in a large cohort of Canadian adolescents. Additionally, the interaction between BMI status and perceptions of weight was examined in relation to academic achievement outcomes. Methods: Two-year survey data from 25,673 grade 9-12 students attending the 122 Canadian schools that participated in Year 6 (2017/2018) and Year 7 (2018/2019) of the COMPASS study were used. Generalized estimating equation models were used to examine associations between students’ BMI classification and weight perception and their math and English/French course grades and post-secondary academic aspirations and expectations. All models were stratified by gender and adjusted for sociodemographic variables and school clustering. Results: Boys and girls with BMI of obesity and missing BMI classification reported lower grades and post-secondary aspirations and expectations when compared to those with Normal BMI. Similarly, boys and girls with overweight BMI reported lower math and language grades than those with Normal-weight BMIs. Relative to their peers with normal-weight BMI and “about right” perceptions, those with overweight perceptions and BMI of overweight/obesity reported lower academic grades and post-secondary aspirations and expectations. There was evidence of an additive effect for girls and boys with overweight perceptions and BMI of overweight/obesity on academic outcomes. About right perceptions of weight were protective against lower math grades for boys and girls with overweight/obesity BMI. Results varied by gender and across academic outcomes. Conclusions: Overall, this thesis demonstrates that an obesity achievement gap remains when controlling for students’ perceptions of their weight. Perceptions of overweight had a detrimental effect on academic performance and aspirations/expectations for students with BMI classifications of overweight and obesity, as well as grade outcomes for those with BMI of normal-weight. Results suggest that barriers to academic success exist for students with larger bodies. Future studies should explore the role of internalized and externalized weight bias.
    • Effects of Plyometric and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Neuromuscular Function in Young Adolescent Soccer Players

      McKinlay, Brandon; Wallace, Phillip; Long, Devon; Dotan, Phillip; Falk, Bareket; Applied Health Sciences Program
      This study examined the effect of 8-weeks of resistance (RT) and plyometric (PLYO) training on maximal strength, power and jump performance compared with no added training (CON), in young male soccer players. Forty-one 11-13 year-old soccer players were divided into three groups (RT, PLYO, CON). All participants completed 5 isometric knee extensions at 90° and 5 isokinetic knee extensions at 240°/s pre- and post-training. Peak torque (PT), peak rate of torque development (pRTD), electromechanical-day (EMD), rate of muscle activation (Q30), muscle cross-sectional area (mCSA) and jump performance were examined. Both RT and PLYO resulted in significant (p < 0.05) increases in PT, pRTD and jump performance. RT resulted in significantly greater increases in both isometric and isokinetic PT, while PLYO resulted in significantly greater increases in isometric pRTD and jump performance compared with CON (p < 0.05). Q30 increased to a greater extent in PLYO (20%) compared with RT (5%) and CON (-5%) (p = 0.1). In conclusion, 8-weeks of RT and PLYO resulted in significant improvements in muscle strength and jump performance. RT appears to be more effective at eliciting increases in maximal strength while PLYO appears to enhance explosive strength, mediated by possible increases in the rate of muscle activation.