Faculty and staff present at International Conference
Several faculty and staff from the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health presented at the International Society for Behavior, Nutrition, and Physical Activity conference, June 15-18 in Melbourne, Australia.
Regents Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-presented with Deanna Hoelscher, Ph.D., RD, professor at The University of Texas School of Public Health, concerning the Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Evaluation Project. Drs. Ory and Hoelscher are co-principal investigators working on the Texas statewide program to examine the effects of two national policies on childhood obesity in Texas: the revised Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food package and Safe Routes to School.
“Whether we should invest our nutrition and physical activity promotion efforts on youth rather than the aging population was discussed,” Dr. Ory said. “Though it was a lively discussion, I believe this is a false dichotomy, and the real goal should be to design intergenerational approaches that touch persons of all ages and do not pit one generation against another, recognizing common determinants and solutions.”
Joseph Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H., RD, professor and director of the TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, Wesley Dean, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor, and Cassandra Johnson, M.S.P.H., research associate and program coordinator, made several presentations. All three are core project researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Center for Community Health Development located at the school.
Dr. Sharkey organized and chaired a symposium titled, “It’s the context in which people experience food-related challenges and opportunities: Using multiple qualitative methods.”
Johnson (co-authors Dr. Dean and Dr. Sharkey) presented on a participant-driven photo-elicitation study of Mexican-origin mothers in South Texas. Her oral and poster presentation focused on “what it takes” for mothers in South Texas to feed their families.
Dr. Dean (co-authors Johnson and Dr. Sharkey) examined the interdependency of resources employed to manage food related hardships in a presentation titled, “Resource substitution and the management of food-related hardships in the rural Brazos Valley, Texas.”
In another oral presentation, Dr. Dean (co-author Dr. Sharkey) presented, “The management of food-related hardships in Colonia households in South Texas: A participant observation study.”