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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Delta Body and Soul

Location: Southeast Area

2011 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

This is the final report for this project. Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) in cooperation with the USDA/ARS and Delta Health Alliance (DHA) aims to address the obesity epidemic in the Mississippi Delta region of Mississippi through community-based prevention and intervention programs. A church-based dietary intervention program called Delta Body and Soul was adapted from the National Cancer Institute’s Body and Soul program and is being implemented among African American churches in the Delta region in a cooperative project with the USDA/ARS and DHA. This program has enrolled over 500 participants from 13 churches. Eight churches were successfully recruited to participate as an intervention church and 5 churches as controls. All intervention churches have completed the six month intervention program and 6 churches have had baseline and follow-up clinical and survey measures assessed (one intervention church withdrew from the project due to terminal illness of the pastor and one 2011 intervention church has yet to complete their final assessments). All 5 control churches have completed baseline and follow-up survey and clinical assessments. A database was developed in collaboration with the Mid-South Area Information Technology (IT) team and all non-dietary survey data has been cleaned, double-entered, and systematically checked for accuracy through a multi-level quality assurance process. All food-frequency questionnaires have been cleaned and church cohort 1 (completed during FY 2010) have been sent for processing to Northeastern University. Six focus groups have been completed and transcribed from three intervention churches. ADODR used site visit, email and telephone conferences to monitor activities of the project.


Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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