A Small-Changes Weight Loss Program for African-American Church Members
Objective: We examined whether a previously tested, small-changes weight loss program could be translated for use in African-American churches. Methods: The program consisted of 12 group sessions held weekly at a partner church. Key intervention messages were disseminated via Facebook. A single-arm pretest-posttest evaluation included assessments at baseline, program completion (3 months), and after 3 months with no contact (6 months). Results: Participants (N = 17; 16 women, age 57.5±12.1 years, body mass index 36.5 kg/m2±5.4, hemoglobin A1c 6.3±0.5, blood pressure 132±14/82±7) attended an average of 77% (median = 9) of treatment sessions and 94% and 100% completed the 3- and 6-month assessment visits. All participants reported they were "somewhat" or "very satisfied" with the program. There was minimal inter-action with Facebook with an average of 0.5 comments and 3.9 reactions per post. The 3- and 6-month reductions (all ps < .01) were observed for weight (median = -2.7 kg; median = -2.6 kg), waist circumference (median = -3.8cm; median = -5.1cm), and hemoglobin A1c (median = -0.5; median = -0.3). At 3 months, there were significant reductions in systolic (median = -10.7 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (median = -8.0) but not at 6 months. Conclusions: This study suggests that a faith-based, faith-placed intervention utilizing a small-changes approach in African-American churches may achieve sustained weight loss in parishioners with obesity.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2020
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