240766 Factors associated with faith leader weight status

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Benjamin Webb, MS , Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Melissa Bopp, PhD , Dept. of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Elizabeth A. Fallon, PhD , Kinesiology, Community Health Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Faith leaders often serve as role models of apposite behavior to their congregation, potentially including health behaviors associated with weight status and disease prevention. Although self-reported weight status has been assessed among faith leaders in faith-based organizations, the factors associated with weight status among faith leaders are unknown. Purpose: We conducted a cross-sectional survey to examine demographic and health-related variables associated with body mass index (BMI) among faith leaders. Methods: A convenience sample of faith leaders (n=841) across the US completed an online survey regarding personal demographics, health related factors, and height and weight. Simple logistic regression was used to determine if weight status (dichotomized as non-obese and obese) was associated with demographics, health behaviors (fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity), health and wellness beliefs, and number of health and wellness activities offered at their church. Results: Forty-one percent of respondents were obese. Faith leaders meeting current recommendations for physical activity (OR=0.60) and fruit and vegetable intake (OR=0.70) were less likely to be obese. Faith leaders with more negative health and wellness beliefs were more likely to be obese (OR = 1.03) and those whose church offered more health and wellness activities were less likely to be obese (OR = 0.95). Conclusions: These findings reveal some of the health-related factors associated with weight status among faith leaders. Future interventions should consider targeting faith leader health beliefs and weight as a possible influence on the social and health environment of the church.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify factors associated with faith leader weight status with implications for the design of faith-based interventions.

Keywords: Faith Community, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I performed all data analyses being presented in this abstract. I am also the primary author of the abstract being submitted.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.