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)
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.
Children Eating Well (CHEW) for Health Conference 2013
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.
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.
CHEW CAB Meeting, April, 2013