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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Delta Obesity Prevention Research

2010 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 and A&M College (SU) researchers developed two sets of focus group questions for use in the general focus group sessions and for the session designed to review the Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition (We Can!) program materials. The focus group instruments were pretested prior to conducting these sessions. The team conducted eight parent and six children focus group sessions in St. Landry and East Carroll parishes. The St. Landry sample included 34 parent participants and 29 children participants, and the East Carroll sample included 54 parent participants and 47 children participants. One focus group session was held in each of the two parishes, with 18 parents to review the We Can! Program materials. Focus group session data are being analyzed. Audiotapes of all sessions were transcribed. Using the transcripts, field notes, and moderator/recorder reports, the focus group team is reviewing the data for the purpose of identifying recurring trends and patterns among the focus group sessions. The data will be coded and sorted using the organizing framework of the discussion guide and the recurring trends and patterns. The focus group team is currently identifying emerging themes, and a descriptive summary is being compiled highlighting the most frequent and dominant responses. We began to culturally adapt the We Can! program to serve as the vehicle for implementing the intervention. The focus group team report will be used for tailoring the obesity prevention intervention utilizing the We Can! program. Our researchers were involved in the implementation of a randomized control trial. We developed the following forms: Participant Screening Instruments (Adult and Child); General Parent Interview Instrument; Adult Trailer Questionnaire; and the Child Trailer Questionnaire. All data collection instruments were pretested on a similar population for readability and understanding. The team submitted Phase 2 of the IRB application for intervention implementation. The position description for the peer health educator was prepared and reviewed by the St. Landry and East Carroll Community Advisory Committees. The gardening specialist on the SU team initiated plans for implementation of the gardening component during the next phase of the project. The process evaluation plan for each component of the project was developed to document the extent to which the intervention was implemented. The process evaluation plan is based on the constructs of fidelity, dose delivered, dose received, reach, recruitment, and context. Process evaluation instruments will be developed during the next cycle. Where available, existing instruments will be modified. During FY10, SU hosted the Delta OPRU Instruments/Measurements Workshop to discuss the positives/negatives of data collection instruments and methodologies identified in each institution's research plan and to identify common instruments and methodologies across all DOPRU research plans. The ADODR monitors activities for the project by routine site visits, quarterly project review teleconferences, and annual research workshops.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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