• Adapting a physical activity intervention for youth in a rural area: A case study

      Alfonso, Moya L.; Golquitt, Gavin; Walker, Ashley; Gupta, Akrati; Department of Community Health Behavior and Education, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, School of Health and Kinesiology, College of Health and Human Sciences, Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Physical activity offers children and youth many well-documented positive effects on health. The present study adapted a community-based prevention marketing campaign (CBPM), VERBTM Summer Scorecard (VSS) to promote physical activity among minority youth in rural, southeast Georgia. The purpose of this paper is to describe the adaptation process, emphasizing methods used and lessons learned. Methods: A qualitative study design was used to identify social marketing concepts that informed program adaptation, including two focus groups with 12 children and two focus groups with 14 parents. Qualitative thematic data analysis was used to analyze formative research. The adapted program was implemented for three summers, from 2012 through 2014. A case study of program implementation and lessons learned is provided. Results: Formative research results suggested two changes to VSS that would be required for the program to work in this rural community - a focus on parent-child activities instead of a sole focus on youth and changes to the Scorecard that was used to track physical activity. Over the course of three years of implementation, several lessons were learned about university community partnerships (e.g., the need for a balance of power), having a program champion, and program evaluation. Conclusions: Rural communities are a unique context, with barriers to health promotion efforts that serve to contribute to negative health behaviors and resistance to change. The limited capacity of rural communities to address physical activity makes these barriers difficult to overcome, even during implementation of evidence-based practices.
    • Context matters: A community-based study of urban minority parents' views on child health.

      Bolar, Cassandra L; Hernandez, Natalie; Akintobi, Tabia Henry; McAllister, Calvin; Ferguson, Aneeqah S; Rollins, Latrice; Wrenn, Glenda; Okafor, Martha; Collins, David; Clem, Thomas; et al. (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Among children, there are substantial ethno-racial minority disparities across a broad range of health-related behaviors, experiences, and outcomes. Addressing these disparities is important, as childhood and adolescence establish health trajectories that extend throughout life.
    • Findings from a national home food environment survey: How does Georgia compare?

      Hermstad, April; Haardoeerfer, Regine; Woodruff, Rebecca; Raskind, Ilana; Kegler. Michelle; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Aspects of the home food environment, both social and physical, influence healthy eating and weight management practices. Healthy eating, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015, centers on balancing calories consumed and calories expended for weight management combined with consumption of nutrient-dense foods and drinks. Obesity and excess weight increase the risk of numerous chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. With this presentation, we will explore how Georgia home food environments and eating behaviors are similar or different from the rest of the nation. Methods: Survey participants (n=4,942) were recruited from a reputable online survey panel service. Eligible participants were English-speaking U.S. adults ages 18-75; the final sample was representative of the U.S. population in terms of age, race/ethnicity, geographic region, and income level. Georgia participants represented 3% of the overall sample (n=158). Incentives for completing the 30-minute online survey were provided by the panel service. Survey measures included sociodemographics, healthy eating behaviors (e.g., fruit, vegetable, and fat intake), social home food environment (e.g., food shopping/preparation, household member support) physical home food environment (e.g., food/drink inventories/placement), household food security and coping strategies, and broader contextual factors (e.g., the community food environment, and community capacity and assets). Results: Descriptive data to be presented will include characteristics of participant households, including levels of social and environmental support for healthy eating. Prevalence estimates for key environmental (food/drink inventories/placement, social support among household members) and behavioral (dietary behavior) variables across the sample and among Georgia participants will also be shared. Statistically significant differences between Georgia and the nation will be highlighted. Conclusions: This study presents a unique opportunity to explore socio-environmental influences on healthy eating behaviors nationwide and specifically among Georgians. Findings may be useful in informing tailored messages, healthy eating interventions, and related public health priorities for the state of Georgia.
    • The need for culturally-tailored smartphone applications for weight control.

      Coughlin, Steven S.; Hardy, Dale; Caplan, Lee S.; Coughlin, S. S., Hardy, D. Caplan, L. S. (2016). Department of Community Health and Sustainability, Division of Public Health, University of Massachusetts, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, College of Allied Health Sciences, Augusta University, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Approximately 35% of U.S. adults are obese, and this rate is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030. New media such as smartphone applications (apps) provide a useful and low-cost way to disseminate weight control information. For many culturally distinctive population subgroups, however, there is currently an absence of research-tested smartphone apps for weight control.
    • Using the Exercise is Medicine® on Campus platform to assess college students’ practice of physical activity in a rural setting

      Melton, Bridget; Williamson, A Jazmin; Bland, Helen; Zhang, Jian; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The college setting offers public health educators and exercise scientists a favorable environment to implement wide-spread change in levels of physical activities. With over two-thirds of all adults in the U.S. now categorized as obese or overweight (CDC, 2015), it has become necessary to increase physical activity levels on college campuses. Exercise is Medicine® on Campus (EIM®-OC) is a national initiative to increase physical activity on college campuses by creating an environment to change the subjective norm of diminished exercise movement and fitness among adults. The purpose of the present study was to use the EIM®-OC platform to assess college students’ beliefs and practices of physical activity by implementing this program in a rural setting. Methods: Implementation of EIM®-OC was conducted over a one-week period. More than 1,000 participants joined in the events led by a multi-disciplinary team. Data collected included self-reported daily physical activities, campus commuting, and level of exercise intensity. Descriptive statistics and chi-square reported frequencies and statistical differences. Results: Overall, the campus turnout for EIM®-OC events was 7.6% higher than national norms. Physical inactivity was statistically different between racial groups (P=0.04). Males reported engagement in physical activity primarily for enjoyment and social interactions. Active transport was lower in the rural community than in urban counterparts. Conclusions: Findings from this study described the successful engagement of a midsized rural campus population in an EIM®-OC campaign. The study revealed self-reported physical activity patterns of students comparable to national averages; however there was a disproportionate number of African Americans who did not participate in any vigorous physical activity.
    • Winning the obesity battle

      Blumenthal, Daniel S.; American College of Preventive Medicine, Department of Community Health & Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      There is no doubt that the United States, and especially Georgia, suffers from an obesity problem. Over a third of U.S. adults are obese (CDC, 2016a), as are about 18% of children and 21% of adolescents (CDC, 2016b). Similar percentages in each category are overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) greater than is considered healthy, but not great enough to fall into the obese category. [INTRODUCTION]