University News

CDC Cardia Administrator to Visit WIU

August 24, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Three Western Illinois University marketing students will be among a group of University professors and professionals who will give presentations Wednesday, Aug. 29 to Diane Thompson of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on students' health knowledge and how Western is addressing health messaging to its students.

The presentations will be held Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center. Thompson, who is the CDC project officer for the Coronary Artery Risk Disease in Young Adults (CARDIA) program, had requested the presentation on the students' research, which she had received from Judy Yeast, associate director of Campus Recreation.

In Fall 2006, the Illinois Department of Public Health, working in conjunction with the CDC, selected Western Illinois as one of three statewide participants in the CARDIA program. The CDC provides small grants to cover expenses, Yeast explained.

"In Spring 2007, the CDC asked us to determine how and where individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 at WIU attain health information; that's when I asked Marketing Professor and Department Chair John Drea to get his students involved," Yeast said.

Seniors Jill Erling (LeClaire, IA) and Gwen Smith (Orland Park, IL), along with Spring 2007 Bachelor of Business graduate Tara Beckman (Bloomington, IL) – part of a five-member research team from Drea's marketing research class, will present their research data and analysis to Thompson. Team members Nathan Koster (Lewistown, IL), who graduated with Bachelor of Business degrees in May and senior Doug Herring (Bloomington, IL) are unable to attend.

The team targeted six categories: diet, nutrition, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and physical activity.

Among the survey results was the students' claim that television would be a good source for health information, but it actually rated very low for the knowledge scale.

"Statistically, we found that using posters was actually most useful," Beckman said.

"The health industry is totally missing this generation," Yeast said. "There's not even a good website for college-age students to go to for information."

The Aug. 29 session with Thompson will include a welcome by Jeff Sunderlin of the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Health Promotion; and presentations by members of Western's CARDIA campus committee, chaired by Yeast.

These presentations will include:

  • "Obesity and Lifestyle of College-Age Students" by Dr. Sujate Karkare, staff physician at Western's Beu Health Center;
  • "The Ultimate Weight Solution Program" by Joanne Hooper, Counseling Center;
  • "Promoting Awareness about Health and Nutrition on Our Campus," by Eva Galbraith, Sodexho Campus Services;
  • "Bella Hearst Diabetes Institute" by Lorri Kanauss, dietetics, fashion merchandising and hospitality assistant professor; and
  • "National College Health Assessment Survey" by JoAnn Hairston-Jones, Beu Health Center Health Educator.

Dan Yoder, recreation, park and tourism administration professor, and Lorette Oden, associate professor of health sciences associate professor are also members of the committee.

The presentations, scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., are open to the participants only.

Posted By: Alisha Looney (
Office of University Communications & Marketing