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 Funded by AFRI-USDA
Baqar Husaini, Ph.D., Principal Investigator (Tennessee State University)
Janice Emerson, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator (Tennessee State University)
Pamela Hull, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator (Vanderbilt University) 
Robert Levine, M.D. Co-Principal Investigator (Meharry Medical College)

Nashville  CH ildren Eating Well (CHEW) for Health is a multi-institutional collaboration among the following academic institutions and community stakeholder organizations: (1) TSU Center for Prevention Research; (2) TSU School of Agriculture Human, and Natural Sciences; (3) Meharry Medical College, Department of Family and Community Medicine; (4) Vanderbilt University, Division of Epidemiology; (5) Metropolitan Public Health Department of Nashville/Davidson County; (6) Community Food Advocates; (7) Progreso Community Center; and (7) a Community Advisory Board.

The purpose of Nashville CHEW for Health is to address childhood obesity prevention through research, extension and education.  All of the project activities focus on the  USDA’s federal WIC (Women, Infants and Children) supplemental nutrition program. The target population is low-income WIC participant families with children ages 2-4, with a particular focus on African American and Hispanic families, and the WIC-authorized grocers that serve this population.  The geographic scope of CHEW activities is urban Nashville/Davidson County, with the potential to be extended in the future across Tennessee and in other states.  We use a multi-level approach to prevent childhood obesity through informal family-based consumer education, improving the food environment (in WIC stores), and developing human capital through formal education programs.   

Check out NashvilleCHEW.org for Further Information About the CHEW Study, The 2014 CHEW Conference, and Healthy Recipes!

CHEW Conference 2014 

CHILDREN EATING WELL (CHEW) FOR HEALTH CONFERENCE 2014
SUMMARY

The Center for Prevention Research (CPR), directed by Dr. Jan Emerson, organized and planned the fourth annual Children Eating Well (CHEW) for Health conference held on Friday, October 17, 2014.  A total of 187 registered for the conference and a total of 138 attended.  The attendees included approximately 30 students along with over 100 community members and faculty/researchers.

Dr. Jan Emerson, the TSU CHEW Co-PI, opened the program and in keeping with the theme of health, encouraged for attendees to use the pedometers provided to each person and challenged them to take as many steps as possible during breaks and lunch. Drs. Lesia Crumptom-Young, Chandra Reddy and Baqar Husaini welcomed the attendees on behalf of Tennessee State University’s Division of Research and Sponsored Programs, the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Sciences (CAHNS), and the Chew Project, respectively. Dr. Husaini, CHEW Principal Investigator, reported on pre-school children’s obesity trends according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Next, Dr. Emerson presented an overview of the CHEW project followed by reports on the progress and findings of each CHEW component. Dr. Courtney Kihlberg,  (Meharry CHEW program coordinator) presented that the CHEW Education component team has logged, as of conference date, more than 5,100 trainee hours instructing students and medical personnel (i.e., TSU nutrition undergraduates; Meharry physicians in training; practicing physicians and nurses; and Meharry medical students) in childhood obesity prevention.  Further, the Education component has collaborated with the Tennessee Department of Health in developing and disseminating a Nutrition and Physical Activity Toolkit designed to help educator, healthcare providers, hospital administrators, community outreach workers, and researchers find  needed resources to encourage healthy eating and active living.  The link to the Toolkit can be found on 
www.NashvilleCHEW.org.

Dr. Chiquita Briley, the CHEW Extension component leader, reported that the Extension team has recruited 19 WIC-approved small to medium grocery stores and has developed a technical manual to help them expand fresh produce sales.  Two healthy food tastings have been done at each of the 19 stores for past two years with an average of 25 shoppers per tasting served with positive feedback. Finally, Dr. Pamela Hull (Vanderbilt CHEW Co-PI) highlighted that the CHEW Research component team had completed analysis of the CHEW Phase One data of dietary purchasing, preferences, and consumption among Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanics. Based on this analysis, CHEW Phase Two developed a smartphone application with two components: (1) a shopping tool to assist WIC mothers with maximizing WIC vouchers; and (2) nutrition education focused on healthy snacks and beverages. This intervention app (English and Spanish) is currently being tested using a two-group randomized controlled design, compared to an attention control group that receives a preschool educational application for the child, with 3-month follow up (N=80 African American and 80 Hispanic mothers). 

Following CHEW updates, there were six presenters, including the Executive Chef of the Nashville Music City Center, and the Executive Director of the Tennessee Obesity Take Force, along with four researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of California Berkeley, University of California Davis Health System, and Morehouse School of Medicine. Speakers presented on the following topics: interactions of the built environment and Latino preschool physical activity levels; evaluation of how to accelerate progress in obesity prevention; preliminary results in the Ninos Sanos, Familia Sana intervention; and successes and challenges in engaging parents to influence youth physical activity and healthy eating behavior. 

To evaluate the impact of the conference, CPR had attendees fill out a pre- and a post-conference survey to determine whether the attendees increased their knowledge of topics presented. We received 100 completed pre-conference and 71 post-conference evaluations. Of the 71 matching evaluations, the average pre-conference score was 64.9 ± 13.2% while the average post-conference score was 77.0 ± 13.4%. This was demonstrated a statistically significant (p<0.001) increase in knowledge from pre-conference to post-conference.

Impact of the conference has been further demonstrated by the very positive feedback we have received from many who attended. Besides knowledge of childhood obesity prevention presented and a very healthy lunch served, we did encourage physical activity with our two winners in our “most steps” contest walking over 7,700 steps during our breaks. We have been asked to put a summary of our conference on the Tennessee Obesity Task Force website and will be posting this summary along with conference presentations and photos on our NashvilleCHEW.org website.

CHEW Promo

The  www.NashvilleCHEW.org website was designed, developed and is operated by the Center for Prevention Research and has been online since June 2012.  It is part of the USDA/AFRI/NIFA funded grant “Nashville Children Eating Well (CHEW) for Health” outreach efforts to the community. The website contains overall progress of the CHEW project team as well as progress on the individual components (i.e., Education, Extension and Research).

CHEW activities involving community outreach are posted as they occur. For example, the website contains conference summaries, abstracts, photos and power point presentations for the four annual CHEW conferences (2011-2014). Outreach activities by the CHEW extension team are posted, such as photos and summaries of community day events, as well as a calendar of locations (i.e., WIC-approved participating grocers) where healthy food samplings are being conducted. Starting in 2014, the Center CHEW staff posted a new healthy snack recipe each week.

The growth of the number of hits to the website has grown tremendously since being launched as the following charts show.  Figure 1 lists the average hits per day that have increased from 28 per day in the month of launch (June 2012) to more than 580 per day in November 2014.  Figure 2 shows the dramatic increase in hits per month ranging from 840 in June 2012 to more than 18,000 in November 2014.  

Darnell Award

Graduate Assistant, Darnell Towns, wins award at 36th Annual Tennessee State University Research Symposium, 2014 for presenting findings from the 2012 CHEW Nutrition Survey. From left to right: Dr. Janice Emerson, Acting Director, Center for Prevention Research; Dr. Michael Busby, Interim Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs; Ms. Darnell Towns, doctoral student in the College of Education.

 Ronita & Poster

Graduate Assistant, Ronita Adams, presents a poster at 36th Annual Tennessee State University Research Symposium, 2014 using findings from the 2012 CHEW Nutrition Survey. 

Children Eating Well (CHEW) for Health Conference 2013

Summary

The Center for Prevention Research (CPR), directed by Dr. Jan Emerson, organized and planned the third annual Children Eating Well (CHEW) for Health conference held on Friday, November 15, 2013. A total of 192 registered for the conference and a total of 141 attended. The attendees included approximately 40 students along with community members and faculty/researchers.

Dr. Jan Emerson, the TSU CHEW Co-PI, moderated the program. Dr. Latif Lighari and Dr. Baqar Husaini welcomed the attendees on behalf of Tennessee State University, the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Sciences (CAHNS), and the Center for Prevention Research, respectively. Dr. Lighari, filling in for Dean Reddy who was at another conference, reported on the TSU Extension efforts to address family and consumer needs as relates to health and nutrition. Dr. Husaini, CHEW Principal Investigator, reported on pre-school children’s obesity trends according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Next, Dr. Emerson presented an overview of the CHEW project followed by reports on the progress and findings of each CHEW component. Dr. Robert Levine (Meharry CHEW Co-PI) presented that the CHEW Education component team has logged, as of conference date, 4,083 trainee hours instructing students and medical personnel (i.e., TSU nutrition undergraduates; Meharry physicians in training; practicing physicians and nurses; and Meharry medical students) in childhood obesity prevention. Further, the Education component has collaborated with the Tennessee Department of Health in developing and disseminating a Nutrition and Physical Activity Toolkit designed to help educator, healthcare providers, hospital administrators, community outreach workers, and researchers find needed resources to encourage healthy eating and active living. The link to the Toolkit can be found on www.NashvilleCHEW.org.

Dr. Chiquita Briley, the new CHEW Extension component leader, updated the audience on Extension activities. The Extension team has recruited 19 WIC-approved small to medium grocery stores and are helping them expand fresh produce sales. Two healthy food tastings have been done at each of the 19 stores with an average of 25 shoppers served with positive feedback. Finally, Dr. Pamela Hull (Vanderbilt CHEW Co-PI) highlighted that the CHEW Research component team had completed analysis of the CHEW Phase One data of dietary purchasing, preferences, and consumption among Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanics. Based on this analysis, CHEW Phase Two is developing a smartphone shopping application to assist WIC participants shop healthier and wiser, which Dr. Hull previewed with a video. CHEW Phase Three will test the mobile app with 100 WIC participants beginning in early 2014.

Following CHEW updates, there were nine presenters, including the Director of the Metro Nashville Public Health Department (Dr. Bill Paul) and Former Mayor of Nashville (Bill Purcell), along with seven researchers from TSU, Vanderbilt University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, University of Missouri, Middle Tennessee State University, and LiveWell NorthWest Colorado. Speakers presented on the following topics: family nutrition programs, obesity prevention policies, childhood obesity prevention for young Hispanic children, advantages of community gardens (TSU gardeners gave experiences), how the Institute of Medicine (IOM) contributes to childhood obesity prevention, helping early childcare centers to prevent childhood obesity, and fighting obesity through community participatory strategies. Lively question and answer sessions followed presentations.

Additionally, to evaluate the impact of the conference, CPR had attendees fill out a pre- and a post-conference evaluation to determine whether the attendees increased their knowledge of topics presented. We received 112 completed pre-conference and 85 post-conference evaluations. Of the 85 matching evaluations, the average pre-conference score was 64.7 ± 13.2% (min: 25%, max: 92.5%) while the average post-conference score was 77.2 ± 13.4% (min: 37.5%, max: 100%) This was a statistically significant (p<0.001) increase in knowledge from pre-conference to post-conference.

Impact of the conference has been further demonstrated by the very positive feedback we have received from many who attended. One community member who attended wrote: “This was one of the most dynamic conferences I have attended in a long time. All the presenters were excellent. Keep up the great work.” We have been asked to put a summary of our conference on the Tennessee Obesity Task Force website and will be posting this summary along with conference presentations on our www.NashvilleCHEW.org website.

 

Community Advisory Board (CAB)

The Center for Prevention Research’s Nashville CHEW Project values the input from community members in reaching project goals. The Community Advisory Board (CAB) serves as an important partner in facilitating the Center’s capacity to promote healthy eating for the city’s children.  Board Members represent the community we serve, with representatives from a range of organizations throughout Nashville. The CAB includes representatives of: WIC mothers, WIC grocery stores, non-profit organizations, and the Metro Nashville Health Department.

CAB Meeting2014

CHEW CAB Meeting, April, 2014

 

 






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