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Can a Dietary Intervention Reduce Mercury Toxicity Among Native Communities in Peru? Grubbs, Joshua, Huijia Yu, Luiza Rezende Izoldi Perez, Anson MacKinney, Karina Martinez Romo, Delaney Dryfoos, Liane Emerson, and Jennifer Callejas.. Duke University, 5 Feb 2017. Experiment. doi: 10.18258/8957
The study will be 3-armed and consist of three groups: (1) educational intervention; (2) food basket intervention; and (3) educational and food basket interventions. Testing the two interventions separately and together will allow us to determine if one is more effective than the other and if there are any significant benefits to implementing both strategies together. Blood Hg levels pre- and post-intervention will quantifiably determine the efficacies of the interventions.
We plan to consult with community partners in developing practical food baskets and educational materials. Our team has already reviewed the literature on potential foods, but discussions with health officials and community members will help us decide which options are most appropriate for the local context. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health already has some educational materials that we will use to develop the educational intervention.
The single largest challenge will be ensuring that the communities “buy into” the project. If households provided with the food baskets continue to consume their normal foodstuffs without adjusting their diet to use the materials provided, we will not be able to accurately detect the potential effects of the provided foods. Enlisting the support of local health posts, regularly checking in with households to discuss their thoughts, and consistent encouragement will help address this challenge. The team will live onsite in each study site, demonstrating our partnership with the community and allowing us to constantly monitor the study’s progress.
The mean Hg levels between groups will be compared using two-way ANOVA, followed by post-hoc testing contingent on the results of the ANOVA. We expect the group under the the combined educational and food basket interventions to experience the lowest Hg level.
This project has not yet shared any protocols.