258590 Fine, Fit and Fabulous: Addressing obesity in underserved communities through a faith-based nutrition and fitness program

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Carlos Devia, MA , Bronx Health REACH- NY CEED, Institute for Family Health, New York, NY
Charmaine Ruddock, MS , Bronx Health REACH- NY CEED, Institute for Family Health, New York, NY
Linda Weiss, PhD , Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, The New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Loyce Godfrey, BS , Bronx Christian Fellowship Center Church, Bronx, NY
Jaime Gutierrez, MPH , Center for Evaluation and Applied Research, The New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY
Jill Linnell, MPH , Bronx Health REACH- NY CEED, Institute for Family Health, New York, NY
Maxine Golub, MPH , Planning and Development, Institute for Family Health, New York, NY
Joyce Davis, MDiv (candidate) , Walker Memorial Baptist Church, Bronx, NY
Rosa Rosen, JD , The Latino Education Project, Inc., New York, NY
Neil Calman, MD , Department of Family Medicine & Community Health, Institute for Family Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Background: The Bronx Health REACH coalition, led by the Institute for Family Health, includes over 70 community-based organizations, health care providers, and faith-based institutions. The coalition works to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities related to diabetes in the Bronx and Harlem, which are low income, minority communities with inadequate access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. Method: Fine, Fit, and Fabulous (FFF) is a 12-week, bilingual faith-based, diabetes prevention program developed by the coalition. FFF offers nutrition education and fitness activities and incorporates Bible-based teaching on the value of adopting healthy lifestyles as part of one's religious faith. FFF has been implemented in 11 Bronx and Harlem churches. Pre-post surveys, nutrition tests, and weight logs were collected to assess participant's knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding healthy eating and physical activity. Results: Participants (n=93) reported increased understanding of healthy food choices (15%) and improvements in healthy behaviors such as: exercising in past 30 days (20%); eating fruit daily (20%); judging food portion sizes (12%); reading food labels when shopping or cooking (23%); eating less fast food (15%); and less overeating (13%). Average weight loss across churches was 3.24 lbs. and BMI reduction was .53% per participant. Conclusion: Evaluation results show FFF's success at engaging overweight and obese adults in behavior changes regarding healthy eating and exercise. FFF demonstrates the potential of faith-based health interventions to address obesity and diabetes rates in high need communities of color.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain a coalition building process to engage multi-denominational and multi-ethnic/racial faith leaders in primary prevention activities. 2. Describe the key factors of faith-based programs in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities in lifestyle behaviors in low-income urban communities.

Keywords: Faith Community, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Iím the Project Manager for Research and Evaluation of Bronx Health REACH, a coalition of over 70 community-based organizations. Iím also responsible for the Faith-Based Outreach Initiative that works with health promoters at 47 churches to implement healthy nutrition, physical activity, and diabetes management programming throughout the Bronx and upper Manhattan. I have many years of experience conducting studies on social determinants of health, racial and ethnic health disparities, community-based participatory research, and diabetes.
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.