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Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 148–154

Topical Collection on Obesity Prevention


Purpose of ReviewThe aim of this current narrative review is to critique the scope and value of recent studies with a focus on obesity-related health promotion in faith organizations.

Recent FindingsElectronic database searches, scanning of the reference lists of identified articles, and hand searching of journals for articles written in English and published in 2013–2016 revealed 16 studies. Half of the studies involved African-Americans, in churches and with predominantly female participants. Research among other ethnic groups was more likely to be exploratory. All of the 11 studies reporting the impact of programmes on weight-related measures showed favourable outcomes. However, due to study limitations small sample size, short duration, attrition, significant unbiased effects cannot yet be concluded for most of the interventions reviewed. Study strengths included application of theory in community engagement and detailed description of cultural tailoring.

SummaryFaith organizations show promise as settings for obesity prevention among high-risk groups, particularly African-Americans. Support for progressing formative work to adequately powered, randomized controlled trials is vital. Wider involvement of diverse faith settings and targeting obesity in men and childhood would be valuable developments.

KeywordsObesity Weight loss Faith-based health Community Ethnicity Prevention This article is part of the Topical Collection on Obesity Prevention

Autor: Maria J. Maynard


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