Superfund Research Program
Superfund Community Action Through Nutrition (SCAN)
Project Leader: Lisa M. Gaetke
Grant Number: P42ES007380
Funding Period: 2005-2020
Project Summary (2008-2014)
Since 2000, UK SBRP's Community Outreach Core has provided support and guidance through critical information on nutrition and health-related issues to meet the needs of individuals and communities affected by environmental contaminants. This purpose is underscored through its title, Superfund Community Action through Nutrition (SCAN). During previous funding, SCAN established a close collaboration with community groups in eastern and western Kentucky, and SCAN programs, endorsed by these two communities, provided a new service resource for nutrition and scientific information.
The aim of SCAN is to empower affected individuals and communities to take proactive steps toward their own health by drawing on the strength of the nutrition-related research from UK's SBRP. The objectives of SCAN:
- further develop and present SCAN nutrition and environmental health education programs for a new third site in central Kentucky and the previously established community constituents
- further define SCAN's nutrition education message, and enhance recommendations that diets low in fat and high in phytonutrients may reduce the toxicity of RGB's and related compounds, as reported by UK SBRP's biomedical researchers
- develop new, tangible, qualitative outcome measures of SCAN programs as to improve knowledge and attitudes of health risks associated with exposure to environmental contaminants and the influence of nutrition on these risks, while considering sensitive issues, such as community characteristics and pending litigation that may impede quantitative measures
- further establish trust with identified community constituents in order to provide advanced SCAN programs that show changes in nutrition and health-related behaviors
The results of SCAN programs will be used to assess the differences that diet and geo-social characteristics play on nutrition and health issues. SCAN will help design new diet strategies for individuals, families, and communities, and enable them to optimize their health in the face of exposure to Superfund contaminants.
Exposure to Superfund chemicals has been shown to affect public health by contributing to an increased risk for chronic diseases, especially in combination with poor diet. UK's nutrition education programs, designed with input from participants, empower affected individuals to make more informed decisions about their diet and health, and are an important community service for Kentuckians in proximity to Superfund sites.