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Lockner D.W.,University of New Mexico | Kibbe D.,Georgia State University | Marley S.C.,Arizona State University | Trowbridge F.,International Life science Institute Research Foundation
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved | Year: 2014

Counseling parents of overweight children is a sensitive issue that has been reported to be difficult for many health professionals. The Get Healthy Together (GHT) project involved an 18 month intervention that provided skills training and new tools to Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program staff and a staff wellness program to improve the physical self concept and functioning of WIC employees. All WIC staff from the 48 WIC clinics in New Mexico participated in this study. The design used random assignment to intervention or control condition. Staff participating in the Get Healthy Together project reported improved confidence in their ability to counsel parents of overweight children and improved counseling skills related to health behaviors. Use of the innovative tools provided visual aids that helped parents understand the health implications of their child's weight without the parents becoming defensive. These tools are publicly available in English and Spanish on the WIC Works Sharing Gallery. © Meharry Medical College.

Bialk H.,PepsiCo Inc. | Llewellyn C.,The Coca-Cola Company | Kretser A.,International Life science Institute North America | Canady R.,International Life science Institute Research Foundation | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Toxicology | Year: 2013

This workshop aimed to elucidate the contribution of computational and emerging in vitro methods to the weight of evidence used by risk assessors in food safety assessments. The following issues were discussed: using in silico and high-throughput screening (HTS) data to confirm the safety of approved food ingredients, applying in silico and HTS data in the process of assessing the safety of a new food ingredient, and utilizing in silico and HTS data in communicating the safety of food ingredients while enhancing the public's trust in the food supply. Perspectives on integrating computational modeling and HTS assays as well as recommendations for optimizing predictive methods for risk assessment were also provided. Given the need to act quickly or proceed cautiously as new data emerge, this workshop also focused on effectively identifying a path forward in communicating in silico and in vitro data. © 2013 The Author(s).

Herrera J.,University of New Mexico | Herrera J.,United Road Services | Lockner D.,University of New Mexico | Kibbe D.,International Life science Institute Research Foundation | And 5 more authors.
Childhood Obesity | Year: 2013

Background: Childhood overweight and obesity pose potential health risks for many children under the age of 5 years. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutritionists are in a unique position to help reduce this problem because of their frequent counseling contacts with clients during certification visits. Therefore, four new tools to facilitate nutritional counseling of parents of overweight children during certifications were developed and systematically evaluated. Methods: The Nutrition and Activity Self-History (NASH) form, Report Card/Action Plan (ReCAP), Talking Tips, and Healthy Weight Poster were evaluated by WIC nutritionists via an online survey. Anchors on the Likert scale were 0 for Strongly Disagree to 6 for Strongly Agree. Four regional focus groups were also conducted. Data were analyzed descriptively. Results: The response rate on the survey was 83% (n=63). Focus groups were comprised of staff that volunteered to participate (n=34). The NASH form, which replaces a food frequency questionnaire for identifying nutrition risk, had a mean rating of 5.20 as "Helpful when counseling about weight." The ReCAP, Talking Tips, and Healthy Weight Poster achieved mean ratings of 5.70, 4.75, and 5.30, respectively, in this category. Focus group responses were very positive about the usefulness of the ReCAP and Healthy Weight Poster to visually convey the concept of BMI percentile for age using a green, yellow, and red color-coded "traffic light" approach to showing healthy versus unhealthy BMI values. Conclusions: WIC programs and other pediatric health care settings may want to consider adopting these innovative tools to better serve their clients and address pediatric overweight in the populations they serve. Copyright © 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013.

Gustafson D.I.,International Life science Institute Research Foundation | Collins M.,Environmental Resources Management Inc. | Fry J.,Environmental Resources Management Inc. | Smith S.,Environmental Resources Management Inc. | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability | Year: 2014

Supplying our world's growing nutrition needs in more sustainable ways has become an urgent global imperative, given the constraints of finite resources and the challenges of accelerating climate change. We present national-level eco-efficiency metrics in several representative production countries during the most recent decade (2000-2010) for four important crops: canola, cotton, maize, and soybeans. The metrics address greenhouse gas emissions and the utilization of land, water, and energy - all calculated per unit of production. We group countries based on their level of agricultural intensification and find that high-intensification countries are achieving the highest and yet still increasing levels of eco-efficiency, with these decadal gains: canola (26%), cotton (23%), maize (17%), and soybeans (18%). By stark contrast, low-intensification countries had no change in eco-efficiency during this same decade. Overall, our results suggest large opportunities for additional improvements in the developing world, and that cumulative resource savings through intensification have been significant. For instance, in the case of irrigated maize, if the high- and medium-intensification production countries had only achieved the same irrigation water-use efficiency as in the low-intensification countries, approximately 4 quadrillion (4×1015) more litres of irrigation water would have been consumed during the period 2000-2010. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Gustafson D.I.,International Life science Institute Research Foundation | Jones J.W.,University of Florida | Porter C.H.,University of Florida | Hyman G.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability | Year: 2014

Climate change represents an unavoidable and growing challenge to food security, imposing new adaptation imperatives on all farmers. Maize is arguably the world's most productive grain crop, as measured by grain yield. However, maize yields vary dramatically due to many factors, including soils, climate, pests, disease, agronomic practices, and seed quality. The difference between observed yields and those achievable by optimized crop production methods is called the yield gap. In this work we quantified the current yield gap for 44 countries through the use of a large private-sector data set recently made available to the crop modelling community. The yield gap was quantified for three groups of countries, categorized by level of intensification. Observed yield gaps for high, medium, and low levels of intensification are 23%, 46%, and 68%, respectively. If all maize production countries were able to shrink their yield gap to 16.5% (as in the USA) an additional 335 million metric tons (MMT) of maize grain would be produced. This represents a 45% increase over the 741 MMT produced by these countries in 2010. These data demonstrate that a major untapped maize yield opportunity exists, especially in those countries where intensification has not kept pace with the rest of the world. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

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