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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Nutrition, Food Science, and Hospitality

First Advisor

Bonny Specker


Background: Seasonal differences in bone measurements may be attributed to variations in vitamin D, physical activity, or lifestyle related to both. Rural lifestyle may promote higher levels of activity, leading to higher bone measurements. Objectives: To examine the seasonal differences in bone mineral content (BMC) and bone area by lifestyle in rural vs. non-rural populations and to determine whether differences can be explained by physical activity. Design: Total body, hip, and spine BMC (g) and bone area (cm2), vitamin D intake (IU/d), calcium intake (mg/d and mg/kcal), % time spent in moderate and vigorous activity and grip strength (kg) were measured. Rural status was defined as having spent >75% of life on a work farm or ranch. Results and Conclusion: We found rural lifestyle to be conducive to greater BMC and bone area in some, but not all, sites. Rural females had greater hip BMC than non-rural females. The influence of lifestyle was more apparent on bone size among the males. Lifestyle differences in physical activity or strength did not fully explain population differences.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hutterite Brethren
Bone densitometry
Rural health -- Seasonal variations
Rural population -- South Dakota




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