Location: Office of The Area Director2012 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1: Utilize instruments such as the Dietary Guidelines Adherence Index and analyze previously collected data (e.g. NHANES) to elucidate reasons for unhealthy eating and to determine factors that impact childhood obesity. Objective 2: Conduct research, analyze data, and publish in peer-reviewed journal(s) results from the StartSmart project to determine if this program can improve maternal and neonatal/infant weight and metabolic health via education of the mothers. Objective 3: Evaluate iron status in pregnant women with appropriate follow-up post-partum. Link this to weight status, dietary intake, and inflammatory markers.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
“Dietary Intake Patterns Associated with Excess Adiposity in U.S. Children”; will compare three methods for identifying dietary patterns in U.S. children 2-18 years of age, in terms of their associations with excess adiposity, physical activity, and sedentary behavior, using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. This project will provide insight into modifiable diet and physical activity behaviors associated with excess adiposity in U.S. children.
3. Progress Report:
ARS scientists with the Delta Human Nutrition Project at Baton Rouge, LA, completed the principal component analysis of the relevant National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) child datasets. NHANES is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. Principal component analysis is a data reduction technique that allows for the determination of elements composing complex theories in very large datasets. We performed principal component analysis on several different sets of food groups to determine if different dietary patterns emerged based on these classification schemes. In addition to analyzing the entire set of children, we performed principal component analysis on subsets of children, as defined by sex and age group, to determine if existing dietary patterns differed by these characteristics. We also began reduced rank regression analysis, another data reduction technique, using the same food groups from the principal component analysis. ARS scientists at Baton Rouge, LA, collaborated with the ARS Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit to reanalyze data from a school-based fruit and vegetable snack feeding intervention, School Kids Access to Treats to Eat (SKATE), conducted in 2005. The SKATE study was designed to assess children’s familiarity and willingness to try fruit and vegetable snacks, as well as to evaluate the potential of this school-based intervention to increase children’s familiarity with and consumption of select fruits and vegetables. Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables is one strategy recommended by the Expert Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics to combat childhood obesity. We have submitted one manuscript reporting the results of our analyses to a peer-reviewed journal. ARS scientists at Baton Rouge, LA, initiated collaborative research with the University of Southern Mississippi to test the treatment effects of a six-month, community based participatory research, walking intervention, Healthy U Begins (HUB) City Steps. This study was designed to address two of the most notable health priorities for African American adults, a lack of physical activity and a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Walking for exercise remains the most frequently reported leisure-time activity, likely because it is simple, inexpensive, and easily incorporated into most people’s lifestyle. ARS scientists have submitted two manuscripts reporting the results of their analyses to peer-reviewed journals.
1. Effective intervention for fruit and vegetable consumption in children. A very small percentage of the nation’s children meet the USDA recommendations for daily servings of fruits and vegetables, despite continued efforts to educate the public on the health benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption. Researchers in the ARS Delta Human Nutrition Research Project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, analyzed data resulting from a school-based, fruit and vegetable snack feeding intervention for Lower Mississippi Delta children that was conducted by researchers at the Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit in Little Rock, Arkansas. The intervention included knowledge-building and measurement of consumption for select fruits and vegetables. This study, which led to increased familiarity and consumption of the fruits and vegetables in all children regardless of baseline willingness to try these foods, may serve as a model for delivering effective interventions in vulnerable, child populations.
2. Effective intervention for physical activity in adults. Despite the well known benefits of regular physical activity, over 30% of the nation’s adults are classified as sedentary. Researchers in the ARS Delta Human Nutrition Research Program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, analyzed data resulting from a six-month, community based participatory research, walking intervention for African American adults that was conducted by researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The intervention included motivational interviewing, social support provided by peer coaches, pedometer diary self-monitoring, and monthly diet and physical activity education. The apparent improvements in blood pressure found in this study suggest that community-based, walking interventions have the potential to lower risk for cardiovascular disease in at risk, southern, African American populations.
3. Steps/day predict body composition changes. Few studies have attempted to define the direct relationship between dynamic changes in pedometer-determined steps/day and changes in body composition. Researchers in the ARS Delta Human Nutrition Research Project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, analyzed data resulting from a six-month, community based participatory research, walking intervention for African American adults that was conducted by researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Throughout the 27-week intervention, participants submitted weekly steps/day diaries based on pedometer self-monitoring. Several descriptive indicators of steps/day were predictive of intervention-induced body composition changes (waist circumference, body mass index, percent body fat, and fat mass). However, in the absence of additional supportive research, researchers suggest that change in mean steps/day may be the most useful descriptive indicator for predicting changes in body composition. The ability to directly link pedometer-determined physical activity to improvements in body composition will help public health officials set steps/day recommendations necessary to achieve health benefits.Tussing Humphreys, L.M., Frayn, K.N., Smith, S.R., Westerman, M., Dennis, L., Nemeth, E., Thomson, J.L., Pusatcioglu, C. 2011. Subcutaneous adipose tissue from obese and lean adults does not release hepcidin, in vivo. The Scientific World. 11:2191-206.