2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
An objective of the Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit (Delta OPRU) being conducted in part under this cooperative agreement is to identify barriers and facilitators to adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DG) and examine how differential profiles of adherence relate to obesity in children and adults of the Delta region. The specific objective of this cooperative agreement is to establish and support a cooperative partnership between the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Tufts University (Tufts) which will permit scientific work amongst ARS/Tufts Nutrition Scientists to construct conceptually and culturally appropriate survey tools to assess DG adherence barriers and facilitators for African-American and Caucasian children and their caregivers of the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) region and elsewhere in the U.S.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit (Delta OPRU), in partnership with Tufts University and other research cooperators, will use data obtained from nominal group methodology, to construct conceptually and culturally appropriate survey tools to assess the adherence to the USDA Dietary Guidelines of African American and Caucasian fifth grade children and their caregivers in the Lower Mississippi Delta region and elsewhere in the U.S. Tufts scientists will contribute expertise in dietary intake assessment, sampling design, and data entry management for this survey the HEALTH study. Tufts scientists will also provide technical expertise in pilot research using dietary data, for the identification of dietary patterns which will be adapted to the DG for the LMD and other participating sites. These data will be used to determine the feasibility of the adoption of these patterns in the prevention of obesity. Tufts’ representative will provide technical expertise in proposal writing, data analysis and manuscript preparation.
All endorsed responses from the focus group sessions using the nominal group technique (NGT) were translated and back translated to ensure similar meaning across all racial ethnic groups and used to create a culturally appropriate pilot survey to assess dietary guidelines adherence barriers and facilitators in caregivers and children. The final product of this effort is a Scantron survey created for use by all research sites that is currently being administered. Preambles for delivery of the survey to all racial ethnic groups were created, and Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for all recruitment materials, preambles and consent forms. We also developed a booklet in both Spanish and English for caregivers and age appropriate for 5th grade students in all sites participating in the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle for Total Health (HEALTH) Study.
Tufts University researchers obtained approval from the Boston Public School superintendent office of research administration to recruit their 5th grade students and caregivers for participation in the HEALTH study. They created positive working relationships with school principals, school family/health coordinators, school nurses, and 5th grade teachers. They administered the survey in group sessions during and after school hours in the schools themselves and have successfully delivered the questionnaire to 35 parent child dyads in the targeted racial ethnic groups. With the conclusion of the Boston Public School year, they are actively creating relationships with local Boston summer meals, sports and school preparation programs to continue recruiting for the pilot survey. Additionally, they are continuing to obtain consent and administer the pilot survey to any caregivers recruited through the schools that did not have the opportunity to participate during the school year. The principal investigator has been actively involved in the HEALTH Study Steering committee and is participating in the regular phone conferences.
All HEALTH Pilot Study sites will be submitting their completed scantron questionnaires to Tufts University for scanning and data analysis. Research coordinators at Tufts University have created data collection protocols for all of the sites to follow before sending their pilot surveys to ensure a high quality and consistent data set for analysis.
Monitoring of cooperator's performance and adherence to conditions of the agreement was by: a site visit; quarterly reports consisting of budgetary material, progress towards goals and objectives, and review of publications and manuscripts in progress; and numerous conference calls and emails.
Scantron questionnaire booklet speeds up data analysis. Research scientists at Tufts University (HNRCA) developed a scantron booklet in both Spanish and English for caregivers and age appropriate for 5th grade students in all participating sites. This "scannable" booklet format is being used to replace previous questionnaires that were recorded by hand, with data then entered into an electronic database by hand. This scantron booklet for this study includes the barriers and facilitators to adherence to the Dietary Guidelines plus other survey questions. The scanning process resulted in more uniform data being collected in less time. This will allow the data analysis of a large data set to be completed much more quickly.