2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Obesity in children and adults may be the most serious problem that human nutrition research has ever faced. It is a serious burden to the health care system and adversely impacts the well-being of the nation, particularly in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD). The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is coordinating a major research endeavor that brings together the talents of ARS and other research cooperators in the LMD region to develop strategies for reducing obesity in LMD populations through physical activity and nutrition.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit, in partnership with other ARS research laboratories and research cooperators, has developed a strategic plan to improve the health of at-risk, rural populations of the LMD 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.
The Delta Health Alliance (DHA), in cooperation with the USDA/ARS and Mississippi Valley State University, aims to address the obesity epidemic in the Lower Mississippi Delta region of Mississippi through community-based prevention and intervention programs. We adapted a church-based, dietary intervention program called Delta Body and Soul from the National Cancer Institute's Body and Soul program and implemented this program in African American churches located in the Lower Mississippi Delta region. The cooperator participated in the efficacy trial of the moderate intensity iteration of the program, which included additional educational sessions, research-team-led peer counseling, and on-site weekly physical activity sessions. We successfully recruited and implemented the program in five intervention and three control churches. We have collected baseline demographic, clinical, and survey data for 421 participants and follow-up data for 322 participants who completed the program. We have cleaned, double-entered, and systematically checked for accuracy (using a multi-level quality assurance process) all baseline and follow-up data, with the exception of the dietary surveys. We have cleaned and sent the baseline and follow-up dietary surveys to our collaborators at Northeastern University for processing. Also, statistical support from Milliken and Associates, Manhattan, KS, was provided to Delta OPRU partners Alcorn University and University of Southern Mississippi through this agreement.
The cooperator (DHA) played a significant role in church and participant recruitment, data collection, program implementation, program coordination, peer counseling, participant retention, and data cleaning, entry, and management.