This project analyzes 1996-2000 data from a longitudinal survey containing annual assessments of diet, activity, weight control practices, and height and weight of adolescents. The project will describe dietary patterns, diet quality, and obesity development.
Obesity is a major health problem in the United States. Certain segments of the U.S. population are at greater risk of developing obesity than others. African-Americans have a higher incidence of obesity than do whites, as do people of lower versus higher socioeconomic status and those residing in rural areas versus urban areas. Thus, African-Americans of low socioeconomic status living in a rural setting would appear to be particularly at risk for developing obesity. This project examines various aspects of diet quality, eating patterns, physical activity, and other activities related to lifestyle in 9- to 11-year olds in 4 rural Alabama counties to determine their relationship to the development of obesity. Aspects of diet quality and eating pattern information will be gathered from food frequency questionnaires and multiple 4-day diet records taken throughout the year beginning in September 2002. One thousand children will participate in the study, representing 40 percent of the children aged 9 to 11 in the 4 Alabama counties. Aspects of diet quality and eating patterns also will be compared to that of the primary caregiver of the child. The level of physical activity will be determined through the administration of the Self-Administered Physical Activity Checklist (SAPAC). The SAPAC will be initially administered in a 4-H classroom setting. The project will ultimately help provide the scientific framework upon which educational or intervention programs can be designed to improve the health of this at risk population.