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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Grusak, Michael A
Plant Physiologist
mike.grusak@ars.usda.gov
(713) 798-7044
900 S. SHACKLEFORD ROAD
SUITE 220
Little Rock AR 72204

Mission:
The mission of the Delta Obesity Prevention Research Unit is to evaluate the role of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in preventing obesity in the Lower Mississippi Delta regions of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The research will consist of three major objectives: identify barriers and facilitators to adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DG) and examine how differential profiles of adherence relate to obesity in children and adults of the Delta region; extend the behavioral knowledge gained from the Healthy Eating and Lifestyle for Total Health (HEALTH) Study, as well as from Foods of Our Delta (FOODS 2000) and other food availability and food cost surveys in the Delta, to adapt existing DG eating patterns, such as the USDA MyPyramid and the DASH Eating Plan, for the Lower Mississippi Delta population; to evaluate the effectiveness of the adapted DG eating patterns, with and without physical activity, in reducing weight gain and risk factors for obesity-related chronic disease; and to determine if diet-gene relationships underlie the effectiveness of the adapted eating patterns in the Lower Mississippi Delta population through the use of interventional studies.

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