Association of church-sponsored activity participation and prevalence of overweight and obesity in African American Protestants, National Survey of American Life, 2001-2003

Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Ethnicity & disease (Impact Factor: 1). 06/2013; 23(3):322-8.
Source: PubMed


This study examines the relationships between participation in the African American church and overweight/obesity (body mass index (BMI) > or = 25 kg/m2).
This cross-sectional analysis was based on the National Survey of American Life 2001-2003 and included 2,689 African American Protestant (AAP) adults. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for overweight/obesity. Two practices were examined--frequency of participation in church activities (excluding services) and frequency of church service attendance. Each practice was analyzed in separate models. Each model included the following covariates: age, marital status, education, poverty, smoking, and region of country. We also adjusted models for sex.
After adjustment, African American Protestant men (AAPM) who participated in church activities at least weekly were more likely to be overweight/obese (aOR=2.17; 95% CI = 1.25, 3.77) compared to AAPM who did not participate in church activities. There was no statistically significant association between overweight/obesity and participation in church activities for AAPW. There was no association between overweight/obesity and attendance of church services for AAP men and women combined.
For AAPM, participation in church activities was significantly associated with overweight/obesity. Further studies are required to determine why this association occurs in AAPM but not AAPW. Studies looking at the wider application of the several successful health initiatives targeting the AAP community should also be considered.

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