• Air pollution, physical activity, and markers of acute airway oxidative stress and inflammation in adolescents

      Pasalic, Emilia; Hayat, Matthew J; Greenwald, Roby; Georgia State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: The airway inflammatory response is likely the mechanism for adverse health effects related to exposure to air pollution. Increased ventilation rates during physical activity in the presence of air pollution increases the inhaled dose of pollutants. However, physical activity may moderate the relationship between air pollution and the inflammatory response. The present study aimed to characterize, among healthy adolescents, the relationship between dose of inhaled air pollution, physical activity, and markers of lung function, oxidative stress, and airway inflammation. Methods: With a non-probability sample of adolescents, this observational study estimated the association between air pollution dose and outcome measures by use of general linear mixed models with an unstructured covariance structure and a random intercept for subjects to account for repeated measures within subjects. Results: A one interquartile range (IQR) (i.e., 345.64 μg) increase in ozone (O3) inhaled dose was associated with a 29.16% average decrease in the percentage of total oxidized compounds (%Oxidized). A one IQR (i.e., 2.368E+10 particle) increase in total particle number count in the inhaled dose (PNT) was associated with an average decrease in forced expiratory flow (FEF25-75) of 0.168 L/second. Increasing activity levels attenuated the relationship between PNT inhaled dose and exhaled nitric oxide (eNO). The relationship between O3 inhaled dose and percent oxidized exhaled breath condensate cystine (%CYSS) was attenuated by activity level, with increasing activity levels corresponding to smaller changes from baseline for a constant O3 inhaled dose. Conclusions: The moderating effects of activity level suggest that peaks of high concentration doses of air pollution may overwhelm the endogenous redox balance of cells, resulting in increased airway inflammation. Further research that examines the relationships between dose peaks over time and inflammation could help to determine whether a high concentration dose over a short period of time has a different effect than a lower concentration dose over a longer period of time.
    • 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.
    • Community engagement to address socio-ecological barriers to physical activity among African American breast cancer survivors

      Smith, Selina A.; Whitehead, Mary S.; Sheats, Joyce Q.; Chubb, Brittney; Alema-Mensah, Ernest; Ansa, Benjamin E.; Augusta University, SISTAAH, Institute of Public and Preventative Health, Department of Community Health and Preventative Medicine (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: With high rates of obesity, low levels of physical activity (PA), and lack of adherence to physical activity guidelines (PAGs) among African American (AA) breast cancer survivors (BCSs), culturally appropriate interventions that address barriers to participation in PA are needed. Methods: To develop intervention content, members of an AA breast cancer support group participated in four 1-hour focus group discussions (related to the barriers to PA, strategies for overcoming them, and intervention content), which were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: The support group collaborated with researchers to construct the Physical Activity Intervention Developed (PAID) to Prevent Breast Cancer, a multi-component (educational sessions; support group discussions; and structured, moderately intensive walking, strength training, and yoga), facilitated, 24-week program focused on reducing multi-level barriers to PA that promote benefits (‘pay off’) of meeting PAGs. Conclusions: Community engagement fostered trust, promoted mutuality, built collaboration, and expanded capacity of AA BCSs to participate in developing an intervention addressing individual, interpersonal, organizational, and community barriers to PA.
    • A systematic review of lifestyle interventions for chronic diseases in rural communities

      Smith, A Selina; Ansa, Benjamin; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Rural Americans suffer disproportionately from lifestyle-related chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer). Interventions that consider the distinctive characteristics of rural communities (e.g., access to healthcare, income, and education) are needed. As an initial step in planning future research, we completed a systematic review of dietary intake and physical activity interventions targeting rural populations. Methods: Manuscripts focused on dietary intake and physical activity and published through March 15, 2016, were identified by use of PubMed and CINAHL databases and MeSH terms and keyword searches. Results: A total of 18 studies met the inclusion criteria. Six involved randomized controlled trials; 7 used quasi-experimental designs; 4 had a pre-/post-design; and 1 was an observational study. Eight studies were multi-site (or multi-county), and 3 focused on churches. Primary emphasis by racial/ethnic group included: African Americans (6); Whites (2); Hispanics (3); and two or more groups (7). Most studies (17) sampled adults; one included children. Two studies targeted families. Conclusions: Additional lifestyle intervention research is needed to identify effective approaches promoting healthy diet and exercise and chronic disease prevention in rural communities. Studies that include rigorous designs, adequate sample sizes, and generalizable results are needed to overcome the limitations of published studies.
    • Tailoring a hybrid program for reducing health and education disparities in Georgia communities: Outcomes of listening sessions

      Ejikeme, Chinwe; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Minorities in Georgia experience increased rates of chronic disease and poor health and education outcomes. In the general population in 2013, about 35% of adolescents were either overweight or obese and approximately 13% of children 2-4 years old were obese, with minorities accounting for higher rates. In 2010, 23% of students from low-income families, comprising a higher proportion of minorities, scored at or above proficient level for reading at the end of third grade. Targeting children 0-5 years, Georgia Department of Public Health developed an integrated curriculum to train Early Childcare Educators (ECEs) to increase their knowledge and skills to model food, activity and language nutrition in their classrooms and to coach families. We conducted listening sessions to understand attitudes and knowledge around nutrition in 3 communities with significant racial and ethnic populations. Methods: Listening sessions with ECEs and families were conducted separately in each community. Participants engaged in guided one-hour discussions around food, activity and language nutrition and completed a post-listening session survey to assess their nutrition practices with the children in their care or homes. Results: 70 ECEs and families participated in the sessions and post session surveys. With an over 80% satisfaction rate with sessions, results showed that although baseline understanding of and challenges to modelling nutrition differed in different communities, many strategies used to support nutrition were common across communities. Participants also demonstrated a need for support in increasing access to resources to improve nutrition. Conclusions: This study suggested that multiple issues hinder optimal engagement of children 0-5 years in improved nutrition. Addressing the factors specific to targeted communities is essential to reducing disparities. Thus, integrating these findings in the development of the curriculum and training strategy has the potential to produce more knowledgeable and skilled ECEs as coaches for improving nutrition.
    • 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.