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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Delta Obesity Prevention Research

2009 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 UAPB personnel participated in the research activities associated with the Boys Girls and Adults Community Development Center Summer Day Camp. This included assisting in the training of community data collectors, high school honor students and interns from the Marvell and Elaine communities to implement the research activities. Approximately 15 interns were trained at the Children's Defense Fund School and provided the necessary nutrition education and physical activity sessions. A total of 51 children participated, as well as 20 interns, 9 high school graduates and college students from the two communities, and 15 community residents. Some of the interns and community residents had participated in the research in the summer of 2008 as well. The impact of the participation enables these community residents and Marvell NIRI to continue to support activities in the community to enhance the lifestyle of the residents. The monitoring of cooperator's performance and adherence to condition of the agreement was accomplished by two site visits, two research workshops, quarterly progress reports containing budgetary materials, progress towards goals and objectives, review of publications and manuscripts in progress, conference calls and numerous emails.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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