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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Office of The Area Director

2013 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:
In collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), ARS researchers categorized over 3,700 individual foods and beverages into groups to derive dietary patterns from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) child datasets. Exploratory principal component analysis has been initiated based on these food groups. Additionally, Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) scores have been computed for the child datasets. The HEI-2005 is a diet quality index that measures adherence to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In collaboration with UIC, ARS researchers have designed and implemented 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. The control arm, Parents as Teachers (PaT), is an evidence-based approach to increase parental knowledge of child development and improve parenting practices. The experimental arm, Parents as Teachers Enhanced (PaTE), builds on the PaT curriculum by including nutrition and physical activity components designed for the gestational and postnatal periods. Training in recruiting techniques, PaT curriculum, PaTE curriculum, anthropometric measurement, 24-hour dietary recall methodology, and computer-assisted personal interviewing for the Project Manager and three Parent Educators was conducted beginning in August 2012, and is on-going. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for this study was received 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 for publication. In collaboration with the Louisiana State University and UIC, ARS researchers have designed an ancillary study to the Louisiana Moms and Babies Study (LAMBS), which aims to address maternal overweight in Louisiana. LAMBS is a randomized clinical trial of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation in overweight pregnant women residing in Louisiana. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals were received for LAMBS, on March 12, 2013, from Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and on May 14, 2013, from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. IRB approval for the ancillary study is underway. In collaboration with the University of Southern Mississippi, ARS researchers have completed the analysis of a six-month, community based participatory research walking intervention, 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. These efforts have resulted in one published, three submitted, and two manuscripts in preparation; three abstracts presented at national conferences; and one talk given at a national conference.

4. Accomplishments
1. Effective lifestyle intervention for improving blood pressure in southern, African American adults. Despite the well known benefits of regular physical activity, over 30% of the nation’s adults are classified as sedentary. ARS scientists in the Delta Human Nutrition Research Program at Stoneville, Mississippi, analyzed data 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 improvements in blood pressure apparent in this study suggest that community-based walking interventions have the potential to lower risk for cardiovascular disease in high risk, southern, African American populations.

Review Publications
Thomson, J.L., Landry, A.S., Zoellner, J.M., Tudor-Locke, C., Webster, M., Connell, C., Yadrick, K. 2012. Several steps/day indicators predict changes in anthropometric outcomes: HUB city steps. BioMed Central(BMC) Public Health. 12:983.

Tussing Humphreys, L.M., Thomson, J.L., Mccabe, B.A., Strickland, E., Lovera, D., Bogle, M.L. 2012. A school-based fruit and vegetable snacking pilot intervention for Lower Mississippi Delta children. Infant, Child and Adolecscent Nutrition. 4(6):340-7.

Last Modified: 05/29/2017
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