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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Obesity in children and adults may be the most serious problem that human nutrition research has ever faced. It is a serious burden to the health care system and adversely impacts the well-being of the nation, particularly in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD). The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is coordinating a major research endeavor that brings together the talents of ARS and other research cooperators in the LMD region to develop strategies for reducing obesity in LMD populations through nutrition and physical activity behavioral interventions.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
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. Specifically through this agreement ARS and cooperator will develop, implement and evaluate new or adapt existing interventions designed to motivate high-risk ethnic or low-sociodemographic children, adults, families, churches, or communities to change eating or activity behaviors for optimum weight and health.

3. Progress Report:
Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), in cooperation with ARS, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Delta Health Alliance, aims to address the obesity epidemic in the Lower Mississippi Delta region of Mississippi through community-based prevention and intervention programs. Toward this effort, Delta Healthy Sprouts, an 18-month, randomized, controlled comparative trial testing the efficacy of two Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting programs on weight status, dietary intake, and health behaviors of African American mothers and their infants residing in the rural Mississippi Delta region was designed and implemented. The control arm of the intervention, Parents as Teachers, is an evidence-based approach to increase parental knowledge of child development and improve parenting practices. The experimental arm of the intervention, Parents as Teachers Enhanced, builds on the Parents as Teachers curriculum by including nutrition and physical activity components specifically designed for the gestational and postnatal periods. Both arms of the intervention are delivered in the participant’s home by trained Parent Educators. Training in recruiting techniques and strategies, Parents as Teachers curriculum, Parents as Teachers Enhanced curriculum, anthropometric measurement, 24-hour dietary recall methodology, and computer-assisted personal interviewing for the Project Manager and three Parent Educators was conducted from August 2012, to present and is on-going. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was received for this study in December 2012. Participant recruitment began in late January 2013. As of July 2013, 56 individuals were referred to the study, 53 were screened, 35 were determined ineligible, and 18 were enrolled into the study. Data collection is on-going. In June 2013, a protocol manuscript was submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/25/2017
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