All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

David B Allison

Advisory Committee Members

Julia M Gohlke

Dale Dickinson

Michelle Fanucchi

Daniel L Smith

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) School of Public Health


The three studies to be presented assess individual-level heat exposure in free-living urban and rural environments and assess food intake in randomized controlled trials in a 2-hour exposure, and a 7-hour crossover heat exposure. The first interest was broad: examining heat exposure and its relation to potential health outcomes. To examine whether heat exposure could be measured in free-living organisms, a light and temperature monitoring device was repurposed and used in a pilot study of individual-level heat exposure in urban and rural community members. Differences between the current and most commonly accepted way of estimating heat exposure, weather station datasets, were examined with the estimates from the personal monitors. Differences in indoor, outdoor, and nighttime heat exposure were examined among the study populations. Considering the urban heat island effect where metropolitan areas are significantly warmer than sur-rounding areas, a hypothesis was formed that urban-dwelling individuals would have greater heat exposure than rural-dwelling individuals. Associations between the estimates of personal heat exposure and personal characteristics like body composition and socio-economic status were explored. Next, refining the interest in heat exposure, an initial study of how acute heat exposures affect food intake in a controlled setting was conduct-ed. A hypothesis was formed that individuals in a sedentary office environment would eat less during a heat exposure above the TNZ. In a randomized controlled trial, food in-take by men and women aged 19-35 years was examined during an acute 2-hour exposure at lunchtime to either a control temperature (within the TNZ of 19-20°C) or a temperature above the TNZ (26-27°C). Finally, after refining the study conditions, a second random-ized controlled trial in a crossover design was conducted examining food intake in wom-en aged 19-37 years with a 7-hour exposure under thermoneutral or elevated temperature conditions.

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