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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Delta Obesity Prevention Research

2012 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:
For our Subobjective 4A; to conduct a culturally tailored We Can! intervention, designed to increase adoption of Dietary Guidelines' eating and physical activity patterns for reducing weight gain and risk factors for obesity-related chronic disease in African-American parents and children living in St. Landry and East Carroll Parishes, Louisiana, this year the Feasibility Study was completed to test all procedures and outcome assessment measurements included in the main study. Our end point assessment data was collected in September 2011. The feasibility study findings were used to provide a perspective on the outcome of the main study, anticipate and resolve potential problems, identify pitfalls, and determine if the intervention research as planned, is feasible. Revisions were made based on the process and formative evaluation. Following reconciliation of evaluation data from the feasibility study, the parent and child intervention manuals were revised for use in the main study. Participant recruitment began for the main study. A total of 58 participants were enrolled in the study. Enrollment of subjects is continuing in order to achieve the required sample size of 66. An additional healthy lifestyle promoter was engaged. Both healthy lifestyle promoters were trained and certified. The healthy lifestyle promoter handbook was revised. The data collection schedule was completed, and the data entry system was established. The research staff was trained for data collection. Three assessment periods are scheduled for data collection: at baseline, mid-point, and 24 weeks post-intervention. Enrolled subjects have completed baseline and the mid-point assessment. Following baseline data collection, randomization of subjects to the treatment conditions occurred. The 24-week study was initiated and is ongoing. Both process and formative evaluation will be used to determine the success of the study in promoting adherence to the fruit, vegetable, fat, and physical activity recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines and for revising the program as appropriate to increase its effectiveness. Components of the evaluation model will include recruitment and training procedures, attendance, participant manual; increase in Healthy Eating Index scores; increase in physical activity; change in nutrition knowledge. Recruiting and enrolling subjects into the study continues to be a challenge. Subject recruitment is continuing, utilizing outreach and direct appeal and media venues. During the year we provided the following professional meeting presentations: Glenda S. Johnson, Ph.D., RD, LDN. Designing a culturally sensitive intervention promoting nutrition and physical activity in a selected population in rural Louisiana. Experimental Biology. April 2012. Bernestine B. McGee, Ph.D., RD, LDN. Formative evaluation for promoting adoption of the DGA, 2005 among African American parents and children in the Lower Mississippi Delta: (Focus Group Results). Experimental Biology. April 2012.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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