Dietary change through African American churches: Baseline results and program description of the eat for life trial

Ken Resnicow, Debbie Coleman Wallace, Alice Jackson, Ann Digirolamo, Erica Odom, Terry Wang, William N. Dudley, Marsha Davis, Diane Mitchell, Tom Baranowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Background. Eat for Life, a multicomponent intervention to increase fruit and vegetable (F & V) consumption among African Americans, is delivered through African American churches. Methods. Fourteen churches were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: 1) comparison; 2) culturally-sensitive multicomponent intervention with one phone call; and 3) culturally-sensitive multicomponent intervention with four phone calls. The intervention included an 18-minute video, a project cookbook, printed health education materials, and several "cues" imprinted with the project logo and a 5 A Day message. A key element of the telephone intervention was the use of motivational interviewing, a counseling technique originally developed for addictive behaviors. Major outcomes for the trial included total F & V intake, assessed by food-frequency questionnaires (FFQs) and 24-hour recalls, and serum carotenoids. Psychosocial variables assessed included outcome expectations, barriers to F & V intake, preference for meat meals, neophobia, social support to eat more F & V, self-efficacy to eat more F & V, and nutrition knowledge. Results. Baseline mean F & V intakes across the three FFQs ranged from 3.45 to 4.28 servings per day. Intake based on a single 24-hour recall was 3.0 servings. Variables positively correlated with F & V intake included self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and a belief that F & V contain vitamins. Factors negatively correlated with intake include perceived barriers, meat preference, neophobia, and high-fat cooking practices. The completion rate for the first telephone counseling call was 90%. Completion rates for the remaining three calls ranged from 79% to 86%. Conclusion. The recruitment and intervention methods of the Eat for Life study appear promising. The telephone intervention based on motivational interviewing is potentially useful for delivering dietary counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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