COLLEGE STATION — A $6.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow researchers at Texas A&M University and The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) to study rural and minority health issues such as diabetes and obesity.
The Center for the Study of Health Disparities (CSHD) at Texas A&M’s College of Education and Human Development and the Center for Community Health Development (CCHD) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health have been awarded the grant over a five-year period from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
The program supported by the funding will address rural and minority health issues by providing critical information on how population and contextual factors impact food choice, dietary patterns and the risk of obesity in minority and rural populations, including children.
The researchers also plan to develop interventions to reduce the risk of obesity, particularly among rural, minority and underserved individuals while at the same time testing the different effects of diabetes self-management models in rural, urban and minority populations.
Key faculty involved in the grant include Kenneth McLeroy, professor of social and behavioral health with the School of Rural Public Health, who will serve as principal investigator; and Mary Shaw-Ridley, associate professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology and director of the Center for the Study of Health Disparities at Texas A&M, who will serve as program director.
“This substantial grant from the National Institutes of Health provides the opportunity for Texas A&M University and the Health Science Center to focus our efforts on addressing the significant disparities in health that exist between and within minority and majority populations, particularly in rural areas,” says McLeroy. “We welcome the opportunity to work with our community partners in better understanding and addressing the causes, consequences and appropriate interventions for reducing and eliminating health disparities.”