Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Little Rock, Arkansas » Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center » Research » Research Project #439549

Research Project: Dietary and Physical Activity Influences on Infant/Child/Adolescent/Maternal Health and Development

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Project Number: 6026-51000-012-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2021
End Date: Dec 31, 2022

The mission of Cooperator's Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center (ACNC) is to conduct cutting-edge research to understand how maternal-child nutrition and physical activity optimize health and development by conducting research on: 1) central nervous system and cognitive development and function of infants and children; 2) maternal and child body composition, metabolism, gene expression and epigenetics (including responses to food macronutrients, phytochemicals and microbe-derived factors), child growth, and child development; and 3) impact of parental and child physical activity on these parameters, singly or in combination with diet, and the biological basis for exercise-associated behaviors and health outcomes. To accomplish this, the ACNC has the following objectives and as appropriate, others as mutually agreed upon: A. Determine how maternal/parental-child dyads/triads diet, exercise, and metabolic health associate with psychological/behavioral, neurologic, neurophysiological and physiological function and development in children. B. Understand how postnatal diet, childhood physical activity, and nutrition associate with psychological/behavioral, neurologic and physiological function and development in children. C. Characterize the interaction between the microbiome, host health and nutrition to modify physiology and promote health and development (e.g. skeleton, gastrointestinal and hepatic tissues, immune system, cardiovascular, and muscle).

To achieve these objectives, extensively detailed research plans have been developed, reviewed and approved that encompasses the specific research described below. Research is to be accomplished over a multi-year period as resources are available and as readiness for research and management capabilities develop. These plans address the following research areas and other research studies mutually agreed upon and approved by the Office of Scientific Quality Review: A. Antenatal Factors Impacting Obesity and Metabolism in Children B. Pediatric Physical Activity: Mechanisms Impacting Health and Development C. Dietary Influences on Psychological and Neuropsychophysiological Development and Function in Children D. Developmental Programming Associated with Maternal Diet and Obesity E. Postnatal Dietary Factors Impacting Healthy Development