A mixed-methods feasibility study of Taste & See:
A church based programme to develop a healthy
relaonship with food.
Riya Patel, Dr Deborah Lyce, Dr Anne Coufopoulos, and Professor Andy Turner
Theorecal underpinning of the course
Obesity treatment remains a high priority globally (1). Evidence suggests holisc approaches, which
include a religious element, are promising (2). Much of this is US research; mainly of a quantave
nature, qualitave research surrounding the acceptability of such intervenons is under-reported (3).
Holisc intervenons of this nature, have not yet been explored in the UK, however recent evidence
suggests there is a need in the UK among those aliated with the Chrisan and Catholic faiths (4).
Objecve: To conduct a pre-post mixed-methods feasibility study of a 12 week faith-based, healthy,
intuive-eang programme, within a UK church.
The intervenon incorporated principals of intuive eang and the Chrisan message of forgiveness and
freedom from guilt in order to address problemac eang idened by a diet weight-regain cycle
18 parcipants with BMI> 25kg/m2
Ethical approval was obtained from Coventry University Ethics commiee.
Physical, psychological and spiritual outcomes were measured at baseline, 12 weeks and 6 months.
Results were analysed using intenon to treat (ITT) analysis; baseline observaon carried forward
(BOCF) was used to input missing data.
Following programme compleon, qualitave data was collected through face to face semi-structured
interviews to assess parcipant acceptability of the intervenon. Quesons were centred around
idenfying the helpful and unhelpful elements of the intervenon, and parcipants’ thoughts on
acceptability of all the components.
Each interview was analysed separately, and coded deducvely at a semanc level.
Themes were peer-reviewed by two of the co-authors.
Qualitave Themes Around Parcipant Engagement
use faith as a
God and food
issues had been
Table 1. Repeated measures ANOVA displaying the main interacon between changes from baseline to 3
months and 6 months
95% CI for mean
change at 6
95% CI for mean
Weight (Kg) -1.6 0.6 -3.2 0.1 -0.10 0.6 -1.7 1.5
QOL VAS 11.7* 3.7 1.9 21.6 7.4 3.8 -2.5 17.4
Uncontrolled Eang -16.5* 3.7 -26.2 -6.7 -13.4* 4.5 -25.3 -1.4
Cognive Restrained Eang 11.1* 3.8 0.9 21.3 10.2 4.9 -2.7 23.1
Emoonal Eang -19.4* 3.8 -29.4 -9.5 -16.7* 3.6 -26.3 -7.1
Intuive Eang (IE) Total 0.6* 0.1 0.3 0.9 0.5* 0.1 0.2 0.8
Mental Well-being 6.7* 1.3 3.4 10.04 3.9* 1.5 0.01 7.8
Anxiety -4.1* 0.9 -6.5 -1.6 -1.6* 0.6 -3.2 -0.02
Depression -3* 0.9 -5.3 -0.7 -0.6 0.9 -2.9 1.8
Spiritual Well-being (SWB) 4.8 2.8 -2.6 12.1 2.9 2.2 -2.9 8.7
Religious Love 0.4 0.5 -0.9 1.7 0.2 0.2 -0.3 0.6
ATG Avoidance -0.4 0.2 -0.9 0.1 -0.1 0.2 -0.6 0.3
ATG Anxiety -0.4 0.3 -1.01 0.3 0.3 0.3 -0.6 1.1
Nutrional Intake: Energy
-418 370 -1415 580 -112 71 -304 79
Results at three months showed signicant decreases in weight, anxiety, depression and avoidant
aachment to God.
There were also signicant increases in VAS quality of life, mental well-being, existenal well-being,
intuive eang, conversely there were also increases in TFEQ for cognive restraint, emoonal, and
uncontrollable eang behaviours.
Results at six months showed signicant increases in intuive eang, cognive restrained eang
behaviour, as well as signicant decreases in anxiety, emoonal and uncontrollable eang behaviours.
(See Table 1).
The ndings of this study have idened that it is acceptable and feasible to
conduct a faith-based, healthy eang, weight management programme in a UK
Results at 3 months and 6 months support a mainly posive associaon of
outcomes with this intervenon.
However uncertainty exists due to the small sample size.
A larger randomised controlled trial will be conducted to assess ecacy.
Parcipants found the holisc component of the programme, where they explored
the dierent types of eang styles (e.g., boredom eang, eang due to feelings of
loneliness, emoonal eang) and challenging these behaviours most important,
which may explain the increases in intuive eang, and decreases in emoonal,
and uncontrollable eang behaviours.
In addion to this, whilst parcipants’ expressed concerns about the freedom
component mainly relang to fears of weight gain because they were not
restricng nutrional intake, the quantave evidence revealed a dierent reality
which surprised most of the parcipants.
The freedom also helped parcipants’ experience release from negave emoons
associated with food and eang, which may explain increased scores in mental
Parcipants’ idened that being in groups with individuals who had deeper
emoonal issues than themselves was at mes challenging and least helpful for
their own journeys, so this is something to address in the future revision.
1. Health Survey for England 2011 (2012).
2. Lancaster, K. J., Carter-Edwards, L., Grilo, S., Shen, C., and Schoenthaler, A. M. (2014) ‘Obesity intervenons in African American faith based organizaons: a systemac review’. Obesity Reviews, 15 (S4), 159-176.
3. Timmons, S. M. (2015). Review and evaluaon of faith-based weight management intervenons that target African American women. Journal of Religion and Health, 54(2), 798-809.
4. Lyce, D. (2015) 'The Associaon of Religious Aliaon and Body Mass Index (BMI): An Analysis from the Health Survey for England'. Journal of Religion and Health, 54(6), 2249-2267.