Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center
Project Number: 6250-51000-058-00
Start Date: Mar 23, 2014
End Date: Mar 22, 2019
A multidimensional approach will be undertaken to address the obesity research conducted at the Children's Nutrition Research Center. In one study, nutritionists will assess changes in child dietary behaviors that occur with the new school meal regulations being implemented in 2012-2014, as well as the competitive food guidelines that will be implemented in 2014. These new regulations provide more fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods, and limit added sugar/fat foods in schools. The impact of the new school meal regulations on the dietary patterns of children at school and over the entire day will be assessed. Additionally, researchers will establish the necessary dosage level of a sustainable school-based obesity prevention program for Mexican-American adolescents, and the minimal dose of prevention associated with improved outcomes. The costs associated with the program will be identified, providing important information for schools for future implementation. Pediatricians will assess the validity of using the Personal Activity Location Measurement System (PALMS) tool to simultaneously process accelerometer-based physical activity data and GPS-based location data to identify preschool children's physical activity, transportation, and location since studies have suggested that many young children do not meet the physical activity recommendations. In another study researchers will work to understand and prevent obesity both dietary and physical activity behavior, their determinants, and their direct and indirect associations with overweight will be examined to identify barriers and facilitators to Dietary Guidelines for Americans adherence. Additionally, researchers will obtain costs of foods consumed by children, compare food costs by diet quality, nutrient density, and food security status, assess consumer behaviors from the NHANES consumer behavior questionnaire and determine the impact of food security status on consumer behaviors among children. Other research will develop a model of parent-child interactions in the family eating environment among low-income families (based on direct research observations), and determine what aspects of parent-child interactions foster excess calorie intake in children. Researchers also will utilize an electronic button that has been previously utilized in adults, to objectively assess child diet by verifying food identity and portion size as well as recording the child's physical activity levels. Qualitative research will also be performed in another study to inform intervention content, structure, and procedures in order to assess the feasibility of a culturally grounded text message based obesity prevention intervention with parents of 8-10 year old African American girls.