Ann Blackford

By

College: Public Health

UK Researchers to Study Nutrition in Appalachia

Published: Dec 13, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 13, 2012) − Mark Swanson, associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, and Nancy Schoenberg, the Marion Pearsall Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science, UK College of Medicine, have been awarded a three year R24 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) to explore ways to reduce and eliminate health disparities.

 

The project will address one of the nation’s leading public health challenges – lack of access to healthy foods, leading to suboptimal diet, overweight/obesity and consequent health impacts – in Kentucky’s Appalachian counties, a region suffering extreme disparities in diet and diet-related disease.

 

The grant is in response to an NIH call for proposals using community-based participatory research (CBPR), in which academic researchers partner with community members in the development, implementation, and analysis of a research project.  Swanson and Schoenberg, who met and married while obtaining their doctoral degrees in anthropology at the University of Florida, both have a long commitment to community-based work.

 

“One of the most important lessons of anthropology is that community members have critical expertise about their communities, the problems they face, and the kinds of solutions that have a chance of working,” said Swanson. “CBPR offers the opportunity to bring academic expertise in research design, methods, and analysis together with community expertise in local realities, challenges, and opportunities to craft effective solutions to community-defined problems.”

 

In this project, Swanson and Schoenberg are partnering with the Community Farm Alliance, a grassroots organization that has been working on agricultural and rural issues in Kentucky for more than 25 years, as well as other grassroots organizations and individuals in Eastern Kentucky. The project will receive research support from Schoenberg’s community partners at Faith Moves Mountains headquartered in Letcher County.

 

Additional academic expertise is drawn from multiple colleges and departments across the UK campus, including Dave Fardo, biostatistics, College of Public Health; Alison Davis, agricultural economics, College of Agriculture; Alison Gustafson, dietetics and human nutrition, School of Human Environmental Sciences; and Janet Mullins, dietetics and human nutrition, School of Human Environmental Sciences.

 

This three-year project will begin in May 2013 and take place in Appalachian areas of Kentucky,  a region suffering from some of the nation’s highest rates of obesity, lowest rates of produce consumption, and high rates of premature mortality and diet-based diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and various cancers.  

 

According to Swanson, “Our previous research projects in the region have repeatedly documented the relative scarcity of healthy, affordable, and readily accessible food. It is simply unrealistic to expect changes in the health profiles of Eastern Kentucky without addressing food access challenges.”

 

The UK research team, in conjunction with interested residents, will identify key challenges and opportunities in the region, develop an intervention to address the problem of healthy food access, and implement and evaluate that intervention.

 

“We feel that innovation and improvement in health works best when you bring interested, talented, and diverse experts to the table. No one field or group of people has all of the answers to such a challenging question like improving access to healthy food and dietary intake," Schoenberg said.  "By working side by side with our community and research partners, we hope that we will learn about and pilot test the most appropriate, sustainable, and innovative ideas to improve food intake and, ultimately, health.”

 

Media Contact: Ann Blackford at (859) 312-3587 or ann.blackford@uky.edu

 

swanson_and_schoenberg.jpg
October
 
 
 
1
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Wed
2
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Thu
3
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Fri
4
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Sat
5
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Sun
6
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Mon
7
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Tue
8
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Wed
9
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Thu
10
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Fri
11
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Sat
12
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Wed
16
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Fri
18
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Sat
19
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Sun
20
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Mon
21
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Tue
22
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Wed
23
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Fri
25
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
26
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
Sun
27
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Mon
28
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Tue
29
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Wed
30
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
Thu
31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Fri
 
Oct 22
Study Tips for Medical School 10/22/2014
Reset Page