ERIC Number: EJ1020668
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
An Evaluation of Diet and Physical Activity Messaging in African American Churches
Harmon, Brook E.; Blake, Christine E.; Thrasher, James F.; Hébert, James R.
Health Education & Behavior, v41 n2 p216-224 Apr 2014
The use of faith-based organizations as sites to deliver diet and physical activity interventions is increasing. Methods to assess the messaging environment within churches are limited. Our research aimed to develop and test an objective assessment methodology to characterize health messages, particularly those related to diet and physical activity, within a sample of African American churches. Written messages (bulletins, brochures, magazines) were systematically collected over 1 year and analyzed with a coding scheme that had high interrater reliability (average ? = 0.77). Within all health messages ("n" = 1109), diet and physical activity messages were prevalent (47% and 32%, respectively). Consistent with prior qualitative research, messages related to meals and to providing food to people in need were frequently found (54% and 25% of diet messages, respectively). Contrary to past research, sports and physical activity as praise (e.g., praise dancing) were the most prevalent physical activity messages (36% and 31% of physical activity messages, respectively). Bulletins, flyers, and brochures were the media in which diet and physical activity messages were most frequently found (14%, 33%, and 24%, respectively), and the church was the most frequent source (41%). Only diet and physical activity messages focused on disease prevention were more likely to originate from national health organizations than from the church (26% vs. 16%). Churches varied in the topics, media types, and sources of health messages, an important factor to consider when planning and implementing health promotion research. Future research should determine whether the enhancement of church messaging environments can produce behavioral change.
Descriptors: African Americans, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Churches, Eating Habits, Physical Activity Level, Exercise, Printed Materials, Information Sources, Periodicals, Content Analysis, Interrater Reliability, Diseases, Prevention, Organizations (Groups), Behavior Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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Identifiers - Location: South Carolina
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