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Ethn Dis. 2005 Spring;15(2):246-55.

Church-based obesity treatment for African-American women improves adherence.

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Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, USA.


This study compared adherence to Behavioral Choice Treatment (BCT), a 12-week obesity treatment program that promotes weight loss and exercise, among 22 Caucasian-American and 10 African-American overweight women in a university setting to 10 African-American overweight women in a church setting. Behavioral Choice Treatment (BCT) promotes moderate behavior change that can be comfortably and therefore permanently maintained. Participants obtained feedback from computerized eating diaries and kept exercise logs. Results indicated that both university groups exhibited comparable eating pathology at pre- and post-treatment and comparable weight loss, despite the African-American sample attending fewer sessions. The African-American church group exhibited less disordered eating attitudes, less interpersonal distrust (eg, reluctance to form close relationships or sense of alienation) at pre-treatment, and experienced significantly greater weight loss than either university group. All groups lost weight and maintained these losses at 12-month follow-up. Preliminary results suggest treatment setting may play an important role in treatment adherence and sample characteristics.

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