• Addressing childhood obesity in Georgia: Past, present, and future

      Kibbe, Debra L.; Vall, Emily Anne; Green, Christine; Fitzgerald, Brenda F.; Minyard, Karen J.; Cornett, Kelly; Georgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State University, Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The Trust for America's Health ranks Georgia 17th (16.5%) in the nation for childhood obesity prevalence among youth aged 10-17 years. Georgia has a long history of addressing childhood obesity at the state, regional, and local levels. This report outlines the historical efforts in childhood obesity in Georgia from the mid-1990’s to the present, summarizes current childhood obesity prevention and management strategies, and provides childhood obesity-related data relevant to the current strategies. Methods: Childhood obesity-related efforts in Georgia from 1996 to the present are documented, along with how these efforts led to the creation of Georgia Shape. The Georgia Shape Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative, created by Governor Nathan Deal in 2012, established a statewide, 10-year plan of action to address childhood obesity. It convenes more than 125 governmental, philanthropic, academic and business community partners quarterly to work towards reducing the incidence of childhood obesity and overweight in Georgia. Evidence supporting the Georgia Shape objectives is described, along with current program and policy efforts that may allow achievement of its goal of having 69% of Georgia’s children in a healthy weight range by the year 2023. Results: Georgia's obesity rate for low-income, 2- to 4-year old children has decreased. Over the 2013-2015 school years, there has been no increase in BMI at the population level among school age children and youth, and the percentage of boys and girls with increased aerobic capacity has improved. Future efforts should focus on middle and high school students; engaging and educating parents of young children; and state policies that support safe, daily physical activity and access to healthy, local food. Conclusions: A long history of childhood obesity activities in Georgia has led to a strategic plan of action, with contributions from many stakeholders. These efforts aim to reduce the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in Georgia over 10 years
    • Can summer camp improve childhood asthma management? Outcomes from Augusta Area Asthma Camp

      Flakes, Terrill; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Childhood asthma is the most common chronic condition in the U.S., affecting 8.6% of children.1 Asthma is particularly an issue in Georgia where 16.2% of children have been diagnosed with this condition.2 Research suggests an association between pediatric asthma education and a decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and improved quality of life (QOL).3,4 The Augusta Area Asthma Camp, a free week-long educational day camp, was created to address a critical need for asthma education in the community by increasing parent and child knowledge and self-management of asthma symptoms while providing typical summer camp activities in a safe environment. Yet camp effectiveness has not been evaluated. This study explored differences in parent and child related asthma outcomes before and after attending Asthma Camp. Methods: In summer 2016, children attending Asthma Camp along with their parents/legal guardian were consented and asked to complete pre- and post-camp surveys that collected information about asthma control, education, self-management of symptoms, and physical activity. Paired samples t-tests were used to determine pre- and post-camp differences. Results: Children (n=43) ranged from 6-13 years (M=8.53, SD=1.80) with the majority Black (65.1%), male (62.8%), from single parent (41.5%), low-income (73.1%), and nonsmoking households (84.65%). Child asthma education scores were low both before (65%, SD=0.22) and after (69%,SD=0.11) camp. Children reported a significant increase in the number of physically active days/week pre (M=3.66, SD=1.99) to post (M=5.48,SD=1.33) camp t(28)=-4.14,p=0.00. While we noticed slight improvement in child symptoms (preM=5.38,SD=1.30; postM=5.66,SD=1.24), activity limitations (preM=5.90,SD=1.16; postM=6.01,SD=1.13), emotional function (preM=5.57,SD=1.68; postM=5.68,SD= 1.84), and total QOL (preM=5.47,SD=1.25; postM=5.76,SD=1.24) and parent management strategies (preM=3.19,SD=0.52; postM=3.31,SD=0.92) and support (preM=0.50,SD=0.57; postM=0.55,SD=0.59), differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Asthma camp can increase child physical activity and shows promise for improving asthma education, self-management, and parental support. A larger sample and more sensitive measures may improve our ability to detect changes in the participants.
    • A review of community-based participatory research studies to promote physical activity among African Americans.

      Coughlin, Steven S; Smith, Selina A; Department of Community Health and Sustainability, Division of Public Health, University of Massachusetts, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Institute of Public and Preventive Health, Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      As part of the planning process for new research, the literature on community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches for promoting physical activity in African American communities was systematically reviewed.