Community Trial of a Faith-Based Lifestyle Intervention to Prevent Diabetes Among African-Americans

J Community Health. 2016 Feb;41(1):87-96. doi: 10.1007/s10900-015-0071-8.


About 75% of African-Americans (AAs) ages 20 or older are overweight and nearly 50% are obese, but community-based programs to reduce diabetes risk in AAs are rare. Our objective was to reduce weight and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and increase physical activity (PA) from baseline to week-12 and to month-12 among overweight AA parishioners through a faith-based adaptation of the Diabetes Prevention Program called Fit Body and Soul (FBAS). We conducted a single-blinded, cluster randomized, community trial in 20 AA churches enrolling 604 AAs, aged 20-64 years with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2) and without diabetes. The church (and their parishioners) was randomized to FBAS or health education (HE). FBAS participants had a significant difference in adjusted weight loss compared with those in HE (2.62 vs. 0.50 kg, p = 0.001) at 12-weeks and (2.39 vs. -0.465 kg, p = 0.005) at 12-months and were more likely (13%) than HE participants (3%) to achieve a 7% weight loss (p < 0.001) at 12-weeks and a 7% weight loss (19 vs. 8%, p < 0.001) at 12-months. There were no significant differences in FPG and PA between arms. Of the 15.2% of participants with baseline pre-diabetes, those in FBAS had, however, a significant decline in FPG (10.93 mg/dl) at 12-weeks compared with the 4.22 mg/dl increase in HE (p = 0.017), and these differences became larger at 12-months (FBAS, 12.38 mg/dl decrease; HE, 4.44 mg/dl increase) (p = 0.021). Our faith-based adaptation of the DPP led to a significant reduction in weight overall and in FPG among pre-diabetes participants. CLINICALTRIALS.

Gov identifier: NCT01730196.

Keywords: African-American; Diabetes prevention; Obesity; Translation research.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight / ethnology
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Religion*
  • Risk Factors
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Weight Loss
  • Weight Reduction Programs / organization & administration*


  • Blood Glucose

Associated data