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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:
In fall 2011, the researchers at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff began designing elements of the feasibility study for spring 2012. The research project staff developed the curriculum elements, the educational schedules, and secured facilitators. Research assistants developed flyers, small handouts with project information, and recruited for research subjects in University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff classrooms across campus for the feasibility study designed to begin in the spring 2012. Students who signed up to participate in the feasibility study were contacted and scheduled for March-April 2012. The feasibility study was held in March-April 2012. A total of 34 students completed the initial screening assessments. A total of 7 students fully completed all aspects of the nutrition and physical activity classes and completed the feasibility assessment questionnaires. The remainder of the spring semester and summer 2012 was spent submitting abstracts, presenting at conferences, and reviewing the collected data. The principal researchers associated with the research project participated in the following activities for professional development, networking, and publicity for the research project: The American Dietetic Association, Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, September 24-27, San Diego, CA. From this conference, critical research information regarding a body image assessment was obtained. The authors of the body image assessment were contacted and permission was gained to use this assessment for the UAPB - Delta Obesity Project. The 2011 Little Rock Healthy Food and Active Living Summit, held at Philander Smith College, September 28-29, 2011. The Southern Obesity Summit, October 2-5, 2011, New Orleans, LA. Additionally, the following presentations were done during the year: Roundtable Discussion. October 27-31,2012. Taylor, F.D., Gao-Balch, Y., Sharman, J. Addressing obesity in HBCU students. Black Caucus of Health Workers, American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Exposition, Prevention and Wellness Across the Life Span, San Francisco, CA. Poster Presentation. October 14-16, 2012, Taylor, F.D., Gao-Balch, Y., and Sharman, J. The Delta Obesity Project: Planning an intervention to address obesity in university college students. 6th Annual Southern Obesity Summit, Marriott Charlotte City Center, Charlotte, NC. Poster Presentation. July 12-13, 2012. Taylor, F.D., Gao-Balch, Y., Sharman, J. Addressing the nutritional needs of university students. 7th Annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities, University of North Texas, Ft. Worth, TX. Poster Presentation. June 27-July 1,2012. Taylor, F.D., Gao-Balch, Y., Sharman, J. Assessing nutrition and physical health disparities in a college population. 12th Biennial Symposium on Minorities, the Medically Underserved & Health Equity, Houston, TX. Speaker. April 20, 2012. Advocacy and the obesity epidemic: Highlighting national, regional, and Arkansas initiatives. 2012 Arkansas Health Disparities Conference, Social Justice: Building Partnerships for Action. Fayetteville, AR, University of Arkansas Global Campus. Sponsored by the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Migrant Education. Poster Presentation. February 24, 2012, Determining the Eating Habits of UAPB Students. 56th Annual Rural Life Conference: Building Resilience in Agriculture, Rural Communities and Families in a Challenging Economy. Pine Bluff Convention Center. Sponsored by the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Session Facilitator. February 24, 2012, Eating Well and Cooking Healthy, 56th Annual Rural Life Conference: Building Resilience in Agriculture, Rural Communities and Families in a Challenging Economy. Pine Bluff Convention Center. Sponsored by the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/27/2017
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