Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States largely due to its detrimental role in diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Seventy percent (70%) of persons living in Newport News, Virginia are overweight or obese, which exceeds corresponding state and nation percentages. Not unexpectedly, rates of chronic disease associated with obesity (lower respiratory disease, diabetes, and coronary disease) and the death rates among residents of low-income, African-American communities in Newport News exceed state averages.
The specific aims of this conference series are to i) sustain an academic-community partnership to reduce obesity risk and health disparities in the City of Newport News, Virginia;ii) develop Memorandum of Understandings between the Newport-News Community-Academic Partnership (NCAP) and community organizations that have an interest and a purpose in using a community- based participatory research (CBPR) approach on obesity risk, health disparities, and urban planning;iii) engage in outreach efforts to identify the communities'perceived areas of interest in reducin obesity and health disparities in the City of Newport News, Virginia, and iv) develop a long-term, collaborative CBPR agenda to reduce obesity risk and health disparities, with emphasis being placed on education in the key areas that the community identifies. We will use the CBPR approach to employ the CDC's Policy, System and Environmental Change model, with the goal of reducing obesity risk and health disparities. We have formed the NCAP, a partnership between the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Coalition and the Consortium for Infant and Child Health (CINCH). It has an Executive Committee and an Advisory Board. The mission of the NCAP is "Creating a Healthier Urban Community." The NCAP will conduct a series of "opportunities" meetings and community forums. The "opportunities" meetings will build interest in the partnership by introducing the NCAP to various, relevant community sectors. Also, the NCAP will partner with professional associations in Virginia to host a series of forums that will solicit community views on the obesity problem and disseminate information about obesity risk, associated health impacts, and prevention strategies. Furthermore, we will sustain the partnership through our research agenda and future grant applications. We anticipate that the NCAP will propose strategic suggestions to the City for urban development and planning to reduce health disparities via policy, system, and environmental changes.
Old Dominion University and community groups will expand an existing community-academic partnership by collaborating with the Consortium for Infant and Child Health to establish an obesity prevention community-based participatory research agenda, which will be guided by community input and participation. This project will explore strategic suggestions to the City for urban development and planning to reduce health disparities via policy, system, and environmental changes.