The interaction between the environment and DNA
Dynamics of Childhood Obesity in Pennsylvania from Community to Epigenetics: Phase 2
This observational study is Phase 2 of the Dynamics of Childhood Obesity in Pennsylvania from Community to Epigenetics study (IRB approved study 2012-0129). We will conduct home interviews and community assessments to explore the influences of the environment on obesity via changes in dietary behavior and physical activity and explore the role of environmental factors in DNA methylation, a key feature of epigenetic programming. We will interview 950 parent/child dyads living in 33 communities in the Geisinger Health System (GHS) service area and collect anthropometric measures (e.g. weight, height) and saliva samples for measurement of DNA methylation. Trained observers will assess key elements of the obesogenic environment in communities in the GHS service area, including the land use environment (LUE), local food environment (LFE), local physical opportunity environment (LPAOE), and the social environment (SE) and School Environment (SchE).