Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 455–469 | Cite as

A Church-Based Pilot Study Designed to Improve Dietary Quality for Rural, Lower Mississippi Delta, African American Adults

  • Lisa M. Tussing-Humphreys
  • Jessica L. Thomson
  • Stephen J. Onufrak
Original Paper


We piloted a 6-month, church-based, behavioral intervention, Delta Body and Soul (DBS), for African American (AA) adults in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD). DBS was designed to improve overall dietary quality in LMD AA adults. The intervention included six once monthly group-based educational sessions implemented by trained church members. Program implementation, session attendance, congregational feedback, and baseline and post-intervention, demographic, health, behavioral, and clinical parameters were assessed. Participants were predominately AA, female, and overweight or obese. Retention rate was 79 %. High adherence, defined as attendance at four or more educational sessions, was associated with dietary quality improvement and reduced blood glucose. Implementation of the DBS pilot intervention was feasible and may result in dietary quality and clinical improvements.


Diet Mississippi African Americans Adult Church 



The authors would like to thank Ms. Eunice Bray, one of the original principal investigators responsible for the study design, implementation, and data acquisition; Curtis Anderson, Emanuel Edmond, Alice Griggs, Amanda Cole, and Susie Gowdy for their assistance with study implementation and data collection; and the church leaders, committee members, and participants. This research was supported by Health Resources and Services Administration Grant No. 6 U1FRH07411 and United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service project 6401-53000-001-00D.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa M. Tussing-Humphreys
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jessica L. Thomson
    • 3
  • Stephen J. Onufrak
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Health Promotion Research, Department of MedicineUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois Cancer CenterChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Agricultural Research Service, Mid South Area, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA/ARS)StonevilleUSA
  4. 4.Obesity Prevention and Control BranchCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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