• The association between nutrition, physical activity, and weight status among adults in Georgia

      Nguyen, Trang; Thapa, Janani; Zhang, Donglan; Pullekines, Elizabeth; University of Georgia (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Obesity is classified as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 and is associated with higher risks of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart diseases, hypertension, and other adverse health outcomes. In 2015, the prevalence of self-reported obesity among adults in Georgia was 30.7. The present study focused on how, in 2015, lifestyle factors, specifically nutrition and physical activity levels, related with weight status in Georgia. Methods: The dataset used for this analysis was from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The association between weight status (as measured by BMI) and nutrition and physical activity levels was examined by use of linear regressions, controlling for socio-demographic variables. Results: The sample consisted of 3,543 adult respondents in Georgia, of whom 2,285 (64.5%) were overweight or obese. Regarding the variables assessing nutrition, vegetable consumption had a significant association with weight status: one unit increase in consumption of vegetables decreased BMI by 0.009 (p=0.039). Conclusions: Vegetable consumption was negatively associated with BMI. Future research should examine, with more robust measures, the relationship between physical activity levels and weight status and determine how other lifestyle factors relate to weight status. This will become increasingly relevant, as the rates for obesity in Georgia and the United States continue to trend upward.
    • Does actual overweight or perception of overweight elevate suicide risk in bullied vs. non-bullied students?

      Kalle, Ashley; Chung, Yunmi; Yoo, Wonsuk; Augusta University; Emory University; (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: For individuals in Georgia aged 10-14 and 15-24, suicide is the third leading cause of death. Those who are overweight are often bullied by their peers, and being bullying can lead to higher risks of suicidality. There is, however, mixed evidence about the relationship between high weight and suicide. Weight perception may be a stronger predictor of suicide than actual weight. The aim of the present study was to examine, in a national sample of high school students, the interaction between weight and bullying on suicide outcomes. Methods: A secondary data analysis was performed with data from the 2015 Youth Behavior Risk Surveillance Survey (YRBSS), a cross-sectional survey of high school students nationwide conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The predictor variables analyzed were actual overweight, overweight perception, and bullying. The outcome variables were suicide ideation, suicide planning, and suicide attempts. Results: For non-bullied students, perception of overweight was a predictor of suicide risk. Whether actual overweight or perception of overweight increases suicide risk in bullied students depended on the type of bullying. For being bullied at school only and being bullied at school and online, overweight perception increased suicide risks. For being bullied online, actual overweight increased suicide risks. Conclusions: Interventions that target bullied students and decrease body dissatisfaction may lower suicide attempts.
    • The effect of a nutrition intervention on parents living in a rural Georgia community

      Elliot-Walker, Regina; Hayes, Dawn; Oraka, Emeka; Lewis, Rashunda; Leon, Andre; Brenau University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Childhood obesity is a concern for public health organizations. Nearly one in four children living in rural communities are obese, and children living in rural Georgia communities are no exception. For rural communities, prevention efforts are needed to address challenges to reducing childhood obesity. The objective of the present effort was to increase the knowledge of parents in a rural community of the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption and other healthy options. Methods: The “We Can Energize Families” curriculum, developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute was implemented in a rural Georgia community. Pender’s Health Promotion Model, which encompasses the theory of persons taking a self-management approach in their health lifestyle, provided the framework. Participating in the study were 21 parents who had at least one child between the ages of 9-13. Outcome measures, adapted from the 16 measures relevant to the original “We Can Energize Families” objectives, were assessed, incorporating measures related to energy balance, portion size, healthy eating, physical activity, and screen time. Paired-T tests were used to evaluate increases in parents’ knowledge of the benefits of consumption of fruits and vegetables. Statistical significance was determined at p < 0.05. Results: There were improvements in 9 of the 16 measures, including knowledge of research and energy balance; attitudes regarding energy balance, portion size, and healthy eating; and behaviors regarding healthy eating, healthy food, physical activity, and screen time. However, improvements were not evident for behaviors related to portion size, knowledge or attitudes pertaining to physical activity, or attitudes regarding screen time. Conclusions: Particularly in rural communities, parents can contribute to prevention of childhood obesity. The present results demonstrate
    • TEACH Kitchen: A Chronological Review of Accomplishments

      Chea, Jung Hee; Ansa, Benjamin E.; Smith, Selina A.; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: The Eating and Cooking Healthy (TEACH) Kitchen was founded at the Medical College of Georgia in 2015 as a nutrition-based intervention to combat the high prevalence of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases in the area of Augusta, Georgia. Despite the importance of diet in the management of chronic diseases, inadequate nutrition education among patients and healthcare providers presents a barrier. The purpose of TEACH Kitchen is to address this gap. Methods: TEACH Kitchen is as a student-led initiative that promotes healthy cooking among medical students and patients with chronic diseases. Healthy nutrition and cooking classes are held during the academic year. Participants spend four weeks on each of four modules: obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. Data collection, which began in January 2017, is currently on going. TEACH Kitchen has collaborated with Augusta University, Sodexo, and Kohl’s. Results: Currently, TEACH Kitchen has enrolled 14 patients and 6 children. Anticipated results include measurements of preand post-intervention changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and competence in nutrition, as well as differences in clinical indicators, including body mass index, blood pressure, lipid profile, and HbA1c. Conclusions: TEACH Kitchen is the first medical school-based nutrition/cooking education initiative in Augusta, Georgia. It provides patients and medical students with hands-on healthy nutrition/cooking experience with the goal of decreasing the prevalence and improving the outcome of obesity-related diseases.