T Nation

Help With a Research Paper


#1

I have a paper that I will be working on for expermental pscyh that involves me and a 2 other classmates conducting a study. Our hypothesis is that children who are fed a complex carb/protein meal for breakfast will have better energy levels then the same group of children who are fed a meal consisting of primarily simple carbs and less protein (ie. some sugary cereal).

So far we are making some decent progress in finding peer reviewed journal's to use as a referrence to our experiment. I would really appreciate if any of you very helpful/intelligent members here would help point me in the right direction to some other links that have more peer reviewed journals to help with the cause.

BTW if you feel I'm being lazy and don't want to help, do me a favor and just don't bother posting. Thanks in advance and I look forward to what kind of feedback I'm going to get.


#2

WideGuy,

I can not say I can help a whole lot. However, I was always curious of reading a good paper proving the point you want proven.

Where I live the kids that go to school in the caribbean often skip breakfast or have horrible sugary or fatty foods. I also feel this is linked to their performance for the rest of the day.

One science teacher only did one study on the kids that made them stop drinking soda for a month vs. a ones who always drink soda.

Anyway, id be happy to read your finished product and see your findings.
Good luck!

T-Islander


#3

I don't know any definitive articles either, but another avenue while searching might be the crash that follows a meal with a high insulin index.

You know, the blood sugar gets driven pretty low all of a sudden... I suspect that might not be helpful for energy levels, concentration or learning.

Heh, I don't know, maybe that's optimal state... or maybe children have such good insulin sensitivity they don't experience this until later years...

Okay, I feel really helpful now. Hmm. Here's a thought!

Bump.


#4

Well that's kind of a start. Thanks so far, and I'll keep you guys posted.


#5

I have no clue, but a PM to LL and DB might save you a lot of mucking about if you haven't done so already.


#6

Just out of curiousity, how do you measure or account for someone's energy level? What I mean is what specific things do you look for in their behaviour etc.?


#7

I can't help off the top of my head with sources. Berardi wrote some articles here about insulin; you could see if there are any useful references in his articles. Once you find a few, those will cite others, and then you're good to go.

But I do have some advice about the experiment, as someone who has taught experimental psych many times at a major research university.

If you actually have to conduct the experiment, I would not do this one. First, a behavioral measure of "more energy" is gonna be tough, especially with children.

Second, children's behavior varies so much anyway that it will really be hard to tease apart energy effects of the meal from the natural variation of children's energy. Kids seem to have boundless energy for long periods, then zone out or fall deeply asleep in a matter of minutes. If there is any effect of meal, it's likely to be small, so you'd need a HUGE sample of children to discern the effect from the variability.

Third, from my own personal, anecdotal experience I would hypothesize that you won't see an effect, and that's kind of a pain. It just seems to me that young kids do very well eating lots of carbs, even simple carbs, and don't seem to need or benefit from protein as much as teenagers or adults. I suspect that most young children have great insulin sensivity and sugar handling.

Finally, and probably most importantly, it's hard to do experiments with children. They are hard to work with; you probably won't even be able to get an IRB protocol approved; if you do by some miracle get approval, you'll have so much more red tape -- extra consent forms, parental participation, extra oversight, blah blah blah. You want to stick to people 18 and over -- the magic number.

And that is what I would recommend. You could do a similar study, but with college students. College students are under lots of stress, probably starting to experience effects of poor diet that they were impervious to as children, and probably benefitting from more protein. Plus they are much easier to find in a college course setting. :slight_smile: Be sure to administer meals and subsequent tests to each group separately; otherwise the obvious treatment difference could contaminate results.

There are still lots of confounding pitfalls to the design. If the sample is small, and the subjects are not matched, you'll really be mixing large individual differences with whatever effect the meal might have. For example, if you have 2 groups of 5, and the sugary-meal group contains 2 athletes who happen to have great insulin sensitivity, while the protein group contains a subject who has hypoglycemia but doesn't know it -- you'll find no effect of the meal, but it will be due to those individual differences confounded with meal condition.

I guess I'm getting carried away here with this post, but go ahead and post your study design if you want me to pick it apart; that's my specialty. :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.


#8

Not carried away AT ALL. Thanks and I'll probably be pm'ing you at some point. You are very helpful. Thanks again.