Objectives: This study reports on Eat for Life, a multicomponent intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among African Americans that was delivered through Black churches.
Methods: Fourteen churches were randomly assigned to 3 treatment conditions: (1) comparison, (2) self-help intervention with 1 telephone cue call, and (3) self-help with 1 cue call and 3 counseling calls. The telephone counseling in group 3 was based on motivational interviewing. The primary outcome, assessed at baseline and 1-year follow-up, was fruit and vegetable intake as assessed by 3 food frequency questionnaires.
Results: Change in fruit and vegetable intake was significantly greater in the motivational interviewing group than in the comparison and self-help groups. The net difference between the motivational interviewing and comparison groups was 1.38, 1.03, and 1.21 servings of fruits and vegetables per day for the 2-item, 7-item, and 36-item food frequency questionnaires, respectively. The net difference between the motivational interviewing and self-help groups was 1.14, 1.10, and 0.97 servings for the 2-item, 7-item, and 36-item food frequency questionnaires, respectively.
Conclusions: Motivational interviewing appears to be a promising strategy for modifying dietary behavior, and Black churches are an excellent setting to implement and evaluate health promotion programs.