Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2004
Publication Date: 5/12/2004
Citation: Harris, E.W., Cotton, P.A. 2004. A community model for the study of nutrition, physical activity, and diabetes. [abstract] In: Proceedings International Congress on Health Benefits of Mediterranean Dietary Quality and Type II Diabetes Prevention, May 12-15, 2004, Perpignan, France. Poster Session.
Technical Abstract: Communities play a special role for individuals and families affected by diabetes. Community infrastructure and characteristics may influence dietary choices and weight status. For example, research shows that fruit and vegetable intakes increase for each additional supermarket in a census tract. Physical availability of food outlets, as well as types of foods sold, is influenced by neighborhood wealth status. Students from five Historically Black Colleges and Universities and one Native American Tribal College, who attended the 2003 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Summer Institute, helped plan and conduct this study in partnership with USDA and the U.S. Army Research Lab. Phase one of the projects is to understand the relationship between community environment and the ability to eat healthy and be physically active to prevent diabetes. Each university community was defined by ½ mile increments from the main campus until a major grocery store was reached. This distance became the radius for the community boundary, however, geography necessitated revisions to this plan for each site. Opportunities for healthy eating are defined as availability of grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores, fast food outlets, vendors, food programs, and farmers markets, and the types of food available through these outlets. Opportunities for physical activity are defined as the availability of parks, public recreational centers, swimming pools, school gyms, presence of sidewalks and bike paths, and the types of physical activity available through these outlets. Data will be added to the USDA Community Nutrition Mapping Project, a web-based GIS application. Descriptive community profiles will be developed. Findings will be used to develop appropriate community-based intervention strategies aimed at diabetes control and prevention.