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Am J Prev Med. 2004 Aug;27(2):97-105.

Body and soul. A dietary intervention conducted through African-American churches.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



Body and Soul was a collaborative effort among two research universities, a national voluntary agency (American Cancer Society), and the National Institutes of Health to disseminate and evaluate under real-world conditions the impact of previously developed dietary interventions for African Americans.


Body and Soul was constructed from two successful research-based interventions conducted in African-American churches. Components deemed essential from the prior interventions were combined, and then tested in a cluster randomized-effectiveness trial. The primary outcome was fruit and vegetable intake measured with two types of food frequency questionnaires at baseline and 6-month follow-up.


At the 6-month follow-up, intervention participants showed significantly greater fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake relative to controls. Post-test differences were 0.7 and 1.4 servings for the 2-item and 17-item F&V frequency measures, respectively. Statistically significant positive changes in fat intake, motivation to eat F&V, social support, and efficacy to eat F&V were also observed.


The results suggest that research-based interventions, delivered collaboratively by community volunteers and a health-related voluntary agency, can be effectively implemented under real-world conditions.

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