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Research Project: Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Related Health Behaviors in Children and Their Environment

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Title: Diet quality and physical activity outcome improvements resulting from a church-based diet and supervised physical activity intervention for rural, southern, Africian American adults: Delta Body and Soul III

Author
item Thomson, Jessica
item Goodman, Melissa
item Tussing-humphreys, Lisa - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Journal of Health Promotion Practice
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2014
Publication Date: 8/31/2015
Citation: Thomson, J.L., Goodman, M.H., Tussing-Humphreys, L.M. 2015. Diet quality and physical activity outcome improvements resulting from a church-based diet and supervised physical activity intervention for rural, southern, Africian American adults: Delta Body and Soul III. Journal of Health Promotion Practice. DOI: 101.1177/1524839914566851.

Interpretive Summary: Mississippi is the nation’s lowest ranking state for overall health. Notably, 35% of Mississippi adults are obese, 31% are physically inactive, and 13% have diabetes, as compared to the highest ranking states at 21% obese, 16% physically inactive, and 7% with diabetes. Eating a balanced diet and accumulating adequate amounts of physical activity can control and even reverse obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Thus, there is great need for focused, culturally relevant, behavioral lifestyle interventions for residents of health disparate regions of the nation, such as the Lower Mississippi Delta. We designed, conducted, and tested the effects of a 6-month, church-based, diet and supervised physical activity intervention on improving diet quality and increasing physical activity of southern, African American adults. We also compared the effects of the current study, Delta Body and Soul III, to an earlier, less intense version of the intervention, Delta Body and Soul II. Overall diet quality as well as specific components – fruits, vegetables, discretionary calories – improved in the intervention participants, but not the control participants. Additionally, intervention participants increased their physical activity, while control participants actually decreased their physical activity. Positive study effects were larger in Delta Body and Soul III as compared to Delta Body and Soul II. Hence, more frequent education sessions as well as supervised group physical activity may be key components to increasing the effects of behavioral lifestyle interventions in rural, southern, African American adults.

Technical Abstract: We assessed the effects of a 6-month, church¬-based, diet and supervised physical activity intervention, conducted between 2011 and ¬2012, on improving diet quality and increasing physical activity of southern, African American adults. Using a quasi¬-experimental design, 8 self-selected, eligible churches were assigned to intervention or control. Assessments included dietary, physical activity, anthropometric, and clinical measures. Mixed model regression analysis and McNemar’s test were used to determine if within and between group differences were significant. Cohen’s d effect sizes for selected outcomes also were computed and compared with an earlier, lower dose intervention. Retention rates were 84% (102/122) for control and 76% (219/287) for intervention participants. Diet quality components, including fruits, vegetables, discretionary calories, and total quality improved significantly in the intervention group. Strength/flexibility physical activity also increased in the intervention group, while both aerobic and strength/flexibility physical activity significantly decreased in the control group. Effect sizes for selected health outcomes were larger in the current intervention as compared to an earlier, less intense iteration of the study. Results suggest that more frequent education sessions as well as supervised group physical activity may be key components to increasing the efficacy of behavioral lifestyle interventions in rural, southern, African American adults.