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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Delta Obesity Prevention Research

2011 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
The Feasibility Study used a pre-post design and was conducted in another community in St. Landry Parish (Eunice). The duration of the feasibility study was 12 weeks and included 30 parents and 30 children. Parents and children were randomly assigned to intervention (15) and control (15) groups. All procedures and outcomes assessment measurements included in the effectiveness study will be tested. The results of the Feasibility study will be used to provide a perspective about the outcome of the main study and allowed an opportunity to practice implementing the experimental procedures of the study, anticipate and fix problems, identify pitfalls, and determine whether the intervention research, as planned, is feasible. During the year, community stakeholders were identified and meetings were held to provide an overview of the study, to solicit assistance with recruitment, and to identify a site for conducting the Feasibility Study. To increase the retention of parents and children in the study, study participants received an incentive for participating (at baseline and at 12 weeks post assessment). Intervention and control group children will receive an incentive at the beginning and at the end of the program. To increase attendance at the weekly intervention sessions for the intervention group, door prizes will be the incentive. The parent intervention curriculum was culturally tailored based on the formative evaluation. The We Can! curriculum was supplemented with information identified by the focus group participants. Consideration was given to the following: barriers to healthy food consumption and how to address these barriers; cultural, social, psychological and environmental influences on adopting the Dietary Guidelines; strategies for adopting the physical activity recommendations; and strategies for implementing the environmental component of home gardening Baseline data collection was completed in June in St. Landry Parish (Eunice). The 12-week study is on-going and an endpoint assessment will be completed at the end of this fiscal year. Both process and formative evaluation will be used to determine the success of the feasibility study in promoting adherence to the fruit, vegetable, fat and physical activity recommendations of the DG and for revising the program as appropriate to increase its effectiveness. Components of the evaluation model will include recruitment and training procedures, participant attendance and satisfaction, participant manual; increase in HEI scores; increase in physical activity; change in nutrition knowledge. A reconciliation of this evaluation will be used for the effectiveness study. The ADODR monitors activities for the project by routine site visits, quarterly project review teleconferences for peer review of progress, and annual research workshops.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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