The church bridge project: Lessons learned from comparing the outcomes of an adapted church-based weight management intervention targeting african american adults

Jennifer Lemacks, Laurie L. Abbott, Ashley N. Bryant, Hwanseok Choi, Penny A. Ralston


Introduction: Church-based interventions improve weight-related outcomes among underserved populations. African Americans, particularly young to middle age adults, are seldom represented in the literature and are key health intervention targets to prevent obesity-related chronic disease. Thus, the objective of this study was to describe the lessons learned from comparing the intervention outcomes of a two-phase, weight management intervention targeting younger to middle aged adult African Americans in Mississippi.
Methods: A weight management intervention was tested and data were collected over two phases using the Bridge2U platform. Descriptive methods examined retention and attendance rates, and anthropometric and demographic data; Wilcoxon signed-rank and Fisher’s exact tests examined group differences in pre and post outcomes.
Results: Attendance rates were 39.9 and 55.4% for phases 1 and 2, respectively. Differences were noted between those who dropped out of the phase 1 intervention and those who remained. Weight loss was significant at 5.6 and 4.8% of baseline body weight for phases 1 and 2, respectively. Significant changes were also noted among other variables.
Conclusions: Disease diagnosis, more intensive intervention format and technology-assisted delivery may be key factors for improved participation and engagement of young to middle aged African Americans in weight management interventions. This study provides future implications for weight management intervention and chronic disease prevention among young to middle aged adult African Americans in the Deep South. 

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Journal of Epidemiological Research

ISSN 2377-9306(Print)  ISSN 2377-9330(Online)

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