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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Delta Body and Soul (Project #2)

Location: Mid South Area (MSA)

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
This project aims to develop a culturally appropriate church-based intervention designed at improving dietary habits and physical activity frequency among Mississippi Delta African Americans. We will assess: 1) Whether the “Body and Soul” church-based diet intervention can be modified to address additional dietary and physical activity deficiencies specific to Lower Mississippi Delta. 2) Whether the adapted intervention significantly improves dietary quality, physical activity frequency, and attenuates weight gain compared to non-intervention control groups.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This intervention will be based upon an effective and thoroughly evaluated church-based diet intervention “Body and Soul” that has been used to meaningfully increase fruit and vegetable consumption among participants. “Body and Soul” features a combination educational, self-help, and peer-counseling intervention components administered largely by trained lay church members. After adapting these intervention approaches to address the specific dietary and physical activity deficiencies relevant to the Lower Mississippi Delta population targeted, the modified intervention will be conducted in 12 churches and 3-4 churches will serve as controls.


3.Progress Report:

The Delta Health Alliance in cooperation with the USDA/ARS and Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) aims to address the obesity epidemic in the Lower Mississippi Delta region of Mississippi through community-based prevention and intervention programs. In collaboration with the Delta Health Alliance and MVSU, we adapted a church-based dietary intervention program, called Delta Body and Soul, from the National Cancer Institute’s Body and Soul program. Also in collaboration with these two institutions, we conducted the Delta Body and Soul program (pilot study and full-scale effectiveness trial) in Mississippi Delta African American church members. Together, we enrolled and collected baseline data for 1,160 study participants from 21 (13 intervention and 8 control) churches. We have collected follow-up data for 800 participants resulting in a 68% retention rate. We have cleaned, double-entered, and systematically checked for accuracy (using a multi-level quality assurance process) all baseline and follow-up data, with the exception of the dietary surveys for the moderate intensity arm of the full-scale effectiveness trial. We have cleaned and sent the baseline and follow-up dietary surveys for this arm of the project to our collaborators at Northeastern University for processing.

We have completed the analysis of the Delta Body and Soul pilot study data collected in 2009-2010 and submitted one manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal. We have also completed the analysis of the Delta Body and Soul low intensity study data collected in 2010-2011. Two manuscripts, reporting results of the main outcomes and psychosocial constructs, are in preparation for submission to peer-reviewed journals.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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