Location: Delta Obesity Prevention Research2011 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
A project leader, hired in January 2011, was able to review the project plan and identify missing project components that were omitted in the previous year. Focus groups and 24-hour dietary recalls of University students were completed. Preliminary data analysis includes HEI scores and transcription of focus group discussions. These data are being used to inform the feasibility study. Data collection protocols for the next phase of the study are being developed/revised, and training of the research team has been completed. A recruitment database was created to capture the entire process of recruitment and enrollment. Recruitment for the feasibility study will commence in the Fall 2011. Quality monitoring/control procedures are in place. All project data is being stored in locked cabinets or on secured computers. UAPB scientists and administrators successfully hosted the Third Annual Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit Workshop, August 2-4, 2011, on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Approximately 31 scientists and administrators from Delta OPRU cooperating universities, area offices, and national program staff were in attendance and shared their progress on their respective projects. The ADODR monitors activities for the project by routine site visits, quarterly project review teleconferences for peer review of progress, and annual research workshops.