This study focuses on environmental and policy changes to promote healthy living. Building on ongoing work in Starr County on the Texas-Mexico border by Texas AgriLife, the five-year outcomes for this project include: 1) Reduce death and disability due to tobacco use by 5%; 2) Reduce the rate of obesity through nutrition and physical activity interventions by 5%; 3)Reduce death and disability due to heart disease and stroke by 5%.
To demonstrate the impact that this project will have on these indicators, School of Social Work researchers will conduct a community survey in the first, third and fifth years, including questions about secondhand smoke exposure, recommendations for physical activity, consumptions of fruits and vegetables, chronic disease self-management outcomes, and obesity. We will use vital statistics (death records) to demonstrate reductions in the death rate from tobacco use, heart disease and stroke and other archival data to establish reductions in disability due to tobacco use, heart disease and stroke. In addition, we will conduct a community assessment, policy scan, and key informant interviews during semi-annual site visits to document the development of policy and environmental changes.