Richard O. White, M.D.
Senior Associate Consultant, Community Internal Medicine
Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida
Obesity rates among adolescents have risen significantly with evidence of disparate trends particularly among minority youth. Despite local and national policy efforts, many youth continue to exhibit poor dietary and exercise behaviors and consistently succumb to effective marketing of calorie-rich, nutritionally-deficient foods. Adolescent obesity is linked to future risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease with projections of significant future health care consequences in terms of cost and morbidity. The specific aims of this proposal are 1) to understand better the specific barriers and facilitators to healthy lifestyle in a socio-demographically challenged health zone of Duval County, and 2) develop a culturally tailored, interactive youth obesity prevention program using select principles of CBPR/effective health communication. Utilizing a cross-sectional design with both qualitative and quantitative assessments, the investigators will evaluate the association between BMI and socio-demographic variables, attitudes and behaviors related to health eating, access to ongoing medical care, and barriers/facilitators of physical activity. Following collection and analysis of baseline data, a series of four focus groups will be conducted along with community capacity assessments to assist in the development of a novel, on-site, community-based and culturally relevant educational intervention targeting obesity rates for at-risk youth. A new academic-community partnership has been created between Mayo Clinic, Nemours Children’s Clinic, First Coast YMCA, and Edward Waters College (EWC), a historically black college-university (HBCU). These partnerships will be leveraged to accomplish the stated goals and support an application for extramural pilot funding of the intervention in a randomized clinical trial.