A by-product of cheese production is the newest motivation for some Washburn students to hit the gym.
Washburn University, with funding from the University of Kansas, is conducting a new study of the effects of whey proteins on weight management. KU obtained a grant from the National Dairy Council, but did not have enough participants.
“They [the KU research group] needed more people for they study, so after some discussion we decided to bring it to Washburn,” said Park Lockwood, an assistant professor who is heading the study at Washburn. The study separates student volunteers into 3 groups in a double-blind experiment. “There is a whey protein group, a soy protein group and a placebo group. It’s double-blind, they don’t know what they’re getting, and in the end we will see if there is an effect on weight management,” said Lockwood.
Research assistants like Calvin Iverson were recruited from Washburn’s kinesiology department to record results and monitor participants.
“Everything is running pretty smooth. There are some times they [the participants] can’t make it in. One of our workers works Tuesday and Thursdays in the afternoon so if someone needs a make-up they can,” said Iverson.
Alex Willis, a student participant of the study, said his primary motivation was being paid to work out. But the compensation has not been the only benefit.
“I am doing some physical activity so I feel better about that,” said Willis
Although results of the study are approximately a year away, Lockwood believes that the time spent on this study will be beneficial.
“If maybe if whey protein helps you burn calories just a little more, and that’s still in question, but if we find that out then that could help with the calories-out part of the equation.”