Richard White, M.D., Community Internal Medicine, wants to improve the odds for inner-city adolescents in Jacksonville, Florida, to live long and healthy lives.
“Some reports have suggested this may be the first generation that doesn’t necessarily outlive their parents," says Dr. White. "That’s a very concerning and provoking thought.”
In research funded by the Mayo Clinic Office of Health Disparities Research, Dr. White’s team recruited 20 pairs of adolescents and their adult caregivers in Health Zones 1 and 6 — primarily African-American neighborhoods that are among the poorest in Jacksonville.
In the study, Dr. White’s team determined that more than half of the adolescents were obese or severely obese, and their adult caregivers also had high obesity rates. The team found that both groups responded better to positive messages about healthy choices than to negative messages that highlight barriers.