Core Research

The Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) focuses on one Core Research project each 5-year funding cycle. For the 2014-2019 cycle, the overall goal for the Movin’ for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy) program is to develop a model of healthy living for residents of the Ninth Ward community, such as eating healthy and being more physically active, and promote existing resources and activities. All program activities will be carried out in the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward for all residents and then shared with other New Orleans neighborhoods.

Partnership for Active Community Environment (PACE), 2004-2009


Past Project:

The Partnership for an Active Community Environment (PACE) was led by a partnership of researchers from the Tulane PRC, residents from neighborhoods, and representatives from local community organizations. PACE began in 2004 to impact physical activity levels using a community-based participatory approach to facilitate environmental change in a low-income, New Orleans neighborhood. In 2006, PACE looked at three demographically similar areas in New Orleans to assess physical activity levels at baseline using household surveys and physical activity observations. The two comparison areas were a part of the Seventh Ward and the area of uptown New Orleans adjoining the Jefferson Parish line and south of Claiborne Avenue.
Community members met monthly with the study team and provided guidance on environmental intervention ideas. They decided on a three-part strategy for the intervention neighborhood located in New Orleans lower Eighth Ward and Upper Ninth Ward. A playground was constructed at Drew Elementary School by KaBoom! with help from community partners, and PACE paid staff to keep the playground open after hours and on weekends for play. Additionally, the Tulane PRC assisted the City of New Orleans in constructing a six-block walking path on the St. Roch Avenue neutral ground, between the St. Roch Market and Independence Square. Lay health advisors were recruited from the community to develop physical-activity related projects throughout the community. These projects included walking clubs, a reading club for children that used physical-activity rewards (i.e. balls), tree planting, bicycle giveaways at community events, a health fair, advocacy efforts to improve drainage and a neighborhood newsletter.

Click here to read the main results of PACE in a paper (2012) in the journal
Preventing Chronic Disease which found that outdoor physical activity increased across the neighborhood after the St. Roch Avenue walking path was built.

Click here to read the PACE study paper (2015) in the Journal of Community Health about the importance of receiving support for being physically active.

Click here to read the article (2013) on a related corner store study in the Journal of Community Health.

Click here to read the results from PACE’s open playground study (2007) in the American Journal of Public Health.

Click here to read the PRCs report (2015) in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease that examined the specific steps Tulane PRC and other PRCs used when working toward environmental, systems, and policy changes.

Principal Investigator: Jeanette Gustat, MPH, PhD

Other Related Projects


Movin' for LIFE, 2014-2019

The overall goal of the Movin’ for LIFE (Lasting Improvements for Fitness and Energy) project is to improve the health of residents by focusing on increasing health-related behaviors, such as healthy eating and being more physically active. Residents of the Upper and Lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East will participate in the program. A variety of strategies will be used to promote active and healthy lifestyles. Lessons learned will be used to create a…

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Neighborhood Food Environment in New Orleans, 2009-2014

Past Project: The Tulane Prevention Research Center’s core research project (2009-2014 grant cycle) examined the food environment in New Orleans, seeking to document changes since Hurricane Katrina, how these changes affect access to healthy food, and the impacts of these changes on food consumption behavior. The core research was community-based and relied on specific interventions and natural experiments to study the changing food landscape in New Orleans and its impacts on residents. Click here for…

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Featured Publications


Nutrition and Food Availability


Neighbourhood fruit and vegetable availability and consumption: the role of small food stores in an urban environment


Nutrition and Food Availability


Measuring the Food Environment: Shelf Space of Fruits, Vegetables, and Snack Foods in Stores

all scientific publications




Recipe Cards


Policy Briefs


School Vending

all prc publications