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Curr Obes Rep. 2017 Apr 11. doi: 10.1007/s13679-017-0257-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Faith-Based Institutions as Venues for Obesity Prevention.

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1
School of Clinical & Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, City Campus, CL 413, Calverley Building, Leeds, LS1 3HE, UK. m.maynard@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The aim of this current narrative review is to critique the scope and value of recent studies with a focus on obesity-related health promotion in faith organizations.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Electronic database searches, scanning of the reference lists of identified articles, and hand searching of journals for articles written in English and published in 2013-2016 revealed 16 studies. Half of the studies involved African-Americans, in churches and with predominantly female participants. Research among other ethnic groups was more likely to be exploratory. All of the 11 studies reporting the impact of programmes on weight-related measures showed favourable outcomes. However, due to study limitations (small sample size, short duration, attrition), significant unbiased effects cannot yet be concluded for most of the interventions reviewed. Study strengths included application of theory in community engagement and detailed description of cultural tailoring. Faith organizations show promise as settings for obesity prevention among high-risk groups, particularly African-Americans. Support for progressing formative work to adequately powered, randomized controlled trials is vital. Wider involvement of diverse faith settings and targeting obesity in men and childhood would be valuable developments.

KEYWORDS:

Community; Ethnicity; Faith-based health; Obesity; Prevention; Weight loss

PMID:
28401491
DOI:
10.1007/s13679-017-0257-8
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