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Grant Details

Grant Number: 1R01CA282436-01A1 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Zoellner, Jamie
Organization: University Of Virginia
Project Title: WESIPSMARTER: an Efficacy Trial to Reduce Sugary Beverages Among Rural Head Start Parent-Child Dyads
Fiscal Year: 2024


Project Summary: Sugary drinks are the largest single source of calories in the US diet and contribute approximately 8% and 7% of total energy intake for US youth and adults, respectively. Unfortunately, the prevalence of daily sugary drink intake is significantly higher in nonmetropolitan US counties, relative to metropolitan counties (adjusted prevalence ratio = 1.32). Also, an estimated 47% of children age 2-5 consume sugary drinks daily. High sugary drink intake contributes to the development of numerous chronic conditions, including cancer. Despite convincing data on risky sugary drink behaviors in rural counties and among preschool-aged children, there are substantial gaps in the intervention literature. For example, few sugary drink interventions have targeted the needs of US rural regions, few have effectively used scalable technology to reduce child’s sugary drinks, and most fail to report on external validity factors. Our application addresses these needs and builds on our team’s extensive digital Health expertise and successful sugary drink research within rural communities. We target Head Starts across defined rural areas (i.e., RUCC 4-9) in Appalachia and the southern Black Belt. Our proposed intervention targets parents as the agent of change and aims to improve parent-child dyad outcomes. Phase 1 is guided by the Adaptome framework. In partnership with rural Head Start staff and parents, we will apply a user-centered design process to adapt our existing evidence-based sugary drink interventions to a digital intervention. This new program, called weSIPsmarter, will be a highly interactive, structured program consisting of multiple evidence-based behavioral change components, including use of ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to encourage self-monitoring of beverage behaviors and parenting feeding practices, action planning, a resource help line, and drinking water vouchers for families with concerns related to in-home tap water quality. Phase 2 is guided by RE-AIM and includes a 2 group cluster RCT design [weSIPsmarter vs. control] with 3 assessment (pre, 9-week post, and 12-month follow-up) periods. We propose to randomize 12 Head Start center clusters with an average of 31 parent-child dyads per cluster (total of 372 parent-child dyads). We hypothesize that weSIPsmarter will be more efficacious at reducing sugary drink consumption than control. Changes in secondary outcomes will also be evaluated, including parent-child dyad outcomes (e.g., diet quality, water, BMI, QOL, behavioral theory constructs) and maintenance at 12-months post intervention. Additional secondary aims include to examine reach, describe parent engagement, and apply a mixed-methods process evaluation to evaluate adoption and implementation among Head Starts. We also aim to explore mediators and moderators (e.g., social determinant of health indicators) to engagement and efficacy outcomes and to explore organizational-level maintenance. The long- term goal of this primary prevention research is to develop an efficacious sugary drink reduction intervention that has high reach among rural, low socioeconomic, children ages 2-5 and their parents.



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