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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2009 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The mission of the Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit is to conduct nutrition research to prevent obesity in at-risk, rural populations in the Lower Mississippi Delta of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is coordinating a major research endeavor that brings together the talents of ARS and other research cooperators in a tri-state region to accomplish the following: .
1)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 (ARS HEALTH study);.
2)extend the behavioral knowledge gained from ARS research studies and other food availability and food cost surveys in the Delta, to adapt existing DG eating patterns, such as the USDA Food Guide (MyPyramid) and the DASH Eating Plan, for the Lower Mississippi Delta population. Test the developed eating patterns for nutritional adequacy and feasibility of adoption by the Delta population. Concurrently, adapt DG physical activity recommendations for the Delta population and examine feasibility of adoption;.
3)evaluate the effectiveness of the adapted DG eating patterns, with and without physical activity, in reducing weight gain and risk factors for obesity-related chronic disease in the Lower Mississippi Delta population through the use of interventional studies. Determine if diet-gene relationships underlie the effectiveness of the adapted eating patterns.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit, in partnership with other ARS laboratories and research cooperators, has developed a strategic plan to improve the health of at-risk, rural populations of the Lower Mississippi Delta through obesity prevention research. Utilizing multi-faceted research approaches, this endeavor will provide a greater understanding of this population’s adherence to national dietary guidance for prevention of obesity and reduced risk for obesity-related chronic disease through the use of dietary and physical activity interventions using established scientific study designs and methods meeting the requirements for evidence based reviews. This cooperative research seeks solutions to these complex challenges through multidisciplinary team research and through cooperation with the general public, local government, policy makers, other institutions and agencies. Research internships addressing the objectives above may be created for university students in the tri-state area.

3.Progress Report

Southern University collected final dietary data using the Delta NIRI Food Frequency Questionnaire by telephone interview for the final phase of the "People United to Sustain Health" (PUSH) Intervention. Questionnaires were prepared for transmission to Tuft's University for analysis. The PUSH intervention has been completed, and post intervention activities were completed. The PUSH intervention addressed healthy weight, healthy food choices, physical activity, and food security of residents in a rural Louisiana population. The expected outcome of this intervention is an improvement in the dietary and physical activity behaviors of participants. Data analysis is in progress. As outlined in planned research for Delta OPRU, the Community Advisory Committee was established in St. Landry Parish for stakeholder input in the project. Focus group questions were developed and pretested. A Manual of Procedures for the focus group component of the project was written. Recruitment of focus group participants was initiated. Modification of study instruments was begun. Monitoring of cooperator's performance and adherence to conditions of the agreement was accomplished by one site visit, two research workshops, quarterly progress reports containing budgetary materials, progress towards goals and objectives, review of publications and manuscripts in progress, conference calls and numerous emails.

Last Modified: 11/25/2015
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