The Research Core provides the context to implement research studies and interventions that examine, reduce, or eliminate health disparities among minorities and underserved populations. This core serves as an umbrella for all research projects and works collaboratively with the Administrative, Outreach, and Training Cores to ensure that the EXPORT Center's research goals are achieved and aligned with the overall EXPORT Center goals.
This is a qualitative study designed to identify factors affecting lifestyle choices
among normal-weight and overweight rural African American men and women, aged 45 to 65.
The researchers are exploring participants’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors
regarding nutrition and physical activity through focus groups and in-depth interviews.
Other factors such as education, family size, income level, marital status,
culturally-ingrained eating habits, and ethnicity-influenced eating traditions were also
examined. Preliminary results suggest that both overweight and normal-weight women have
limited knowledge of portion sizes. However, normal-weight women are more precise in
their estimates of what constitutes an appropriate portion size. In addition, both
overweight and normal-weight women acknowledge challenges in maintaining
healthy eating habits and physical activity routines.
Although the United States is experiencing a twin epidemic of childhood obesity and
adolescent type-2 diabetes, numerous studies have been inconclusive in determining the
effectiveness of school-based interventions. This project examines the immediate and long-term
effects of school-based nutrition and physical activity education on the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors
of elementary-level students in a rural, underserved, minority community. Students in the experimental condition
participate in Jump Into Food and Fitness (JIFF), an educational heath and fitness program designed for children, ages
9 to 11. Results from a pre- and post-test analysis indicate that students in the experimental condition scored
significantly higher on measures of food and physical activity knowledge, attitudes, skills
and behaviors than they did prior to the intervention. They also scored higher than those
in the control condition, who received no intervention outside of regular class activities,
and they had maintained the improvements at a five-month follow-up.
As obesity and physical inactivity continue to be major problems, both associated with
increased risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers,
efforts to increase physical activity remain a central goal for the population groups at risk for chronic health problems. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of pedometers in
increasing physical activity levels in the college environment among students and adults.
The research team is measuring physical activity, using an online physical activity survey
(Behavioral Risk Factor Survey) and pedometers, and estimated Body Mass Index (BMI), using
self-reported height and weight data. Participants reported their number of steps each
week for five weeks. During the second week, the researchers implemented an on-campus
communication campaign encouraging college students, faculty, and staff to add 2,000 steps to their physical activity
daily. Inconsistencies in physical-activity trends suggest that further data are needed
to adequately describe physical-activity levels for this college population.
The LIFE Intervention Study
I (Emerged from Outreach Core activities in the Low Country Counties)
Obesity remains a major problem for African American women and is a major contributing factor to chronic health conditions accounting for disparity trends. While many programs recognize the need for community involvement in developing obesity-intervention plans, few describe using such methods. Using the principles of community-based participatory research, this project design includes inplementing the LIFE project, a nutrition and physical activity program developed by the EXPORT Center’s Outreach Core, under the direction of Outreach Core Director, Dr. Chineylu Okafor. (Read about the development of the LIFE project here).
The LIFE project is a 10-session health program that centers
on the 3 D's:
The intervention is delivered by members of the EXPORT Community Representatives Group. Past facilitators include
Investigator: Bernard Moses, Ph.D. (P.I.) (Voorhees College)
The eHealth Technology program teaches eighth-grade students how to use the Internet to gather and apply health information, with an overall goal of educating school-aged children about health promotion and disease prevention, with emphasis on how they pertain to obesity. The program also seeks to improve family and community health through health education provided to the community’s younger citizens. The program addresses the issues of health disparities by teaching children to 1) access health and wellness information using the MedlinePlus portion of the National Library of Medicine website and evaluate the extent of their learning; 2) design and use health learning models to present health information to parents and teachers; and, 3) evaluate the impact of the student’s presentation on teachers and family members. This program also helps to bridge the gaps between health science and technology, particularly to explain how science and technology are essential to each other.
Dr. Moses is conducting a research project to assess the effectiveness of the eHealth Technology program. By collecting students' assignments and classwork, Dr. Moses will assess improvements in students' ability to obtain and apply health information from the internet. Data collection is on-going.
Investigators: Veronica Parker, Ph.D. (P.I.), James Witte, Ph.D., Barbara Logan, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. , and Charlton Coles, Ph.D. (Clemson University)
The research team implemented an asset-mapping study of community health and other resources in several counties in South Carolina. Through this study, researchers identified pockets of poor, rural, racial/ethnic minority populations using geospatial analyses and located strengths in the communities using asset-mapping. Asset-mapping is a capacity-building effort seeking to identify strengths that can be preserved, enhanced, and mobilized to help a community. Rather than focus on deficits, asset-mapping focuses on a community's strengths. Based on the premise that communities understand their problems and can be empowered to actively engage in solving their own problems, this method of eliminating or reducing health disparities engages communities in prevention, intervention, and other health improvement efforts.[Top]
EXPORT Center is a program
of the Center for
Research on Health Disparities and is housed jointly in the Clemson University College
of Health, Education, and Human Development and the Voorhees
College Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health.