Effectiveness of a Church-Based Program at Increasing Physical Activity and Healthy Dietary Habits in African Americans

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00379925
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 25, 2006
Last Update Posted : July 9, 2013
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of South Carolina

Brief Summary:
Obese African Americans are at risk for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Church-based interventions have the potential to positively influence the health habits and behaviors of a large percentage of African Americans. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a church-based program that emphasizes increased physical activity and healthy dietary habits among members of predominately African American churches in South Carolina.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Behavioral: Physical Activity and Dietary Health Promotion Program Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Many obesity-related diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, occur more frequently in ethnic minorities than in Caucasians. African Americans have an extremely high church attendance rate, making church-based interventions a viable method to reach a wide audience and positively influence health habits and behaviors. The most effective way to prevent or reverse the effects of obesity is through weight loss, which can be accomplished by increasing physical activity and following a low fat and low sodium diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Few programs have been developed that have specifically examined the effects of a church-based physical activity and dietary intervention. This study will encourage church leaders to assist in the development of a health promotion program that will incorporate the church's social, cultural, and policy influences. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on increasing physical activity, improving blood pressure levels, and promoting healthy dietary habits among church members. The importance of pastor support and participation will be evaluated, and the results from this study may be used to develop additional church-based interventions across a larger geographic area.

In Year 1 of this 5-year study, representatives from the Palmetto Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and three state universities in South Carolina will participate in monthly planning sessions to develop the intervention. Local health committees and church pastors and cooks will be trained to implement the program. The 18-month intervention will occur in three waves; where at least 60 churches will be randomly assigned to participate in either the immediate intervention or delayed intervention. The program will emphasize increased physical activity and the adaptation of a healthy diet that includes low fat and low sodium foods, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. At baseline and Month 18, blood pressure will be measured, and physical activity levels and fruit and vegetable intake will be assessed for some church members. Additionally, throughout the study, some participants will wear an accelerometer, which is a small device that measures physical activity levels.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 1600 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: A Partnership to Promote Physical Activity and Healthy Eating in AME Churches
Study Start Date : July 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Behavioral
Participants will take part in the Physical Activity and Dietary Health Promotion Program.
Behavioral: Physical Activity and Dietary Health Promotion Program
Churches within the intervention group will receive a committee training and church cook training designed to teach them how to do a self-assessment of current practices and develop a plan for their program. The intervention is based on the structural model of health behavior and targets opportunities, mass media (within the church), guidelines and policies, and church environment. Intervention churches also receive monthly intervention mailings to support intervention implementation.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Blood pressure [ Time Frame: 15 months ]
  2. Physical activity (measured with the Community Healthy Activities Model Program For Seniors [CHAMPS] questionnaire) [ Time Frame: 15 months ]
  3. Fruit and vegetable consumption (measured with NCI screener & 2-item measure) [ Time Frame: 15 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Physical activity (measured with an accelerometer) [ Time Frame: 15 months ]
  2. Fat consumption [ Time Frame: 15 months ]
  3. Fiber consumption [ Time Frame: 15 months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Member of a church in the Palmetto Conference of the 7th Episcopal District of the AME Church
  • Attends church services or events at least once per month

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Planning to move in the 18 months following study entry

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00379925

United States, South Carolina
African Methodist Episcopal Churches in South Carolina
Lane, South Carolina, United States, 29564
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of South Carolina
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator: Sara Wilcox, PhD University of South Carolina