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ARS Coordinating Nutrition Survey in Delta RegionBy Tara Weaver-Missick
January 28, 2000
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Jan. 28, 2000—The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is coordinating a major telephone survey to determine the nutrition and health needs of Mississippi Delta residents in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s primary research agency.
The three-month telephone survey began this month. Residents in 36 counties in the three states will be randomly selected to participate in this important endeavor. This survey, the first of several, is phase one of the “Foods Of Our Delta Study 2000" or “FOODS 2000" to help improve the nutritional status of Delta residents.
ARS is partnering with Alcorn State University, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Southern University and A&M College, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and the University of Southern Mississippi as part of the Lower Mississippi Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative (Delta NIRI).“Poverty, infant mortality, diabetes and cancer are higher in the Delta than anywhere else in the nation,” ARS Administrator Floyd P. Horn said. “The information gathered from this survey will help determine what Delta residents are eating and how we can use that information to help improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities in that region.”
The telephone surveys will be conducted by Westat, Inc., in Rockville, Md. Respondents may be asked questions like “What did you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?”“We urge everyone who is called upon to participate. This survey is so important. Responses are a critical part of the entire initiative,” says Margaret L. Bogle, Executive Director of the Delta NIRI. “We plan to take this information and develop intervention programs, like feeding programs and nutrition classes, to help improve the nutrition and health of men, women and children in the Delta.”
The second phase of the initiative will be to monitor changes in the nutrition and health of selected residents in the Delta region.
Scientific contact: Margaret L. Bogle, ARS, Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative, Little Rock, Ark.; phone (888) 955-8890.