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Prev Chronic Dis. 2013 Nov 14;10:E187. doi: 10.5888/pcd10.130074.

Strategies to prevent and reduce diabetes and obesity in Sacramento, California: the African American Leadership Coalition and University of California, Davis.

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Clinical and Translational Science Center, 2921 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95817. E-mail:



Diabetes is one of the leading causes of illness and death for African Americans and people of African descent throughout the United States and in the city and county of Sacramento, California. The involvement of families and communities in developing prevention strategies can increase the likelihood that behavioral changes will be sustained.


Three member organizations of the African American Leadership Coalition (AALC) entered into a partnership with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to engage families in developing a process to identify barriers to diabetes and obesity prevention and reduction, exchange strategies, and create action plans for prevention.


The intervention comprised 3 phases: 1) coalition formation and training; 2) data collection, analysis, and dissemination of results; and 3) development of family and community action plans. Academic and community partners planned and implemented all project phases together.


Sources of information about diabetes and obesity were primarily doctors and the Internet; barriers were related to lack of time needed to prepare healthy meals, high food costs, transportation to fresh markets, motivation around healthy habits, and unsafe environments. Action plans addressed behavioral change and family cohesion. The group discussion format encouraged mutual support and suggestions for better eating and physical exercise habits.


This collaborative partnership model can strengthen existing group relationships or promote new affiliations that form the basis for future action coalitions. Participants worked both within and across groups to exchange information, stories of success and challenges, and specific health improvement strategies.

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