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Results of a faith-based weight loss intervention for black women. J Natl Med Assoc 2005 Oct;97(10):1393-402



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Obesity is a risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases. Although weight loss may reduce these risks, weight loss programs designed for black women have yielded mixed results. Studies suggest that religion/spirituality is a prominent component of black culture. Given this, the inclusion of religion/spirituality as an active component of a weight loss program may enhance the benefits of the program. The role of religion/spirituality, however, has not been specifically tested as a mechanism that enhances the weight loss process. This paper presents the results of "Faith on the Move," a randomized pilot study of a faith-based weight loss program for black women. The goals of the study were to estimate the effects of a 12-week culturally tailored, faith-based weight loss intervention on weight loss, dietary fat consumption and physical activity. The culturally tailored, faith-based weight loss intervention was compared to a culturally tailored weight loss intervention with no active faith component. Fifty-nine overweight/obese black women were randomized to one of the two interventions. Although the results were not statistically significant, the effect size suggests that the addition of the faith component improved results. These promising preliminary results will need to be tested in an adequately powered trial.

Author List

Fitzgibbon ML, Stolley MR, Ganschow P, Schiffer L, Wells A, Simon N, Dyer A


Melinda Stolley PhD Center Associate Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

African Americans
Cultural Diversity
Diet, Reducing
Health Behavior
Health Promotion
Hospitals, Urban
Middle Aged
Pilot Projects
Program Evaluation
Religion and Psychology
Surveys and Questionnaires
Weight Loss
Women's Health
jenkins-FCD Prod-411 e00897e83867fcfa48419861683711f8d99adb75