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Delivery of a community-based nutrition education program for minority adults

Downes, Loureen S. (Associate Professor)1; Buchholz, Susan W. (Professor)2; Bruster, Belinda (Associate Professor)3; Girimurugan, Senthil B. (Assistant Professor)1; Fogg, Louis F. (Associate Professor)2; Frock, Margaret S. (Nurse Practitioner)1

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: April 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 4 - p 269–277
doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000144
Research - Mixed Methods

Background and purpose: Chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity disproportionately affect minority adults, including African Americans. Engaging in lifestyle changes such as improving dietary habits and increasing physical activity can decrease the incidence and severity of these chronic diseases. The purpose of this research study was to explore the impact of a nutrition education program on health behaviors, lifestyle barriers, emotional eating, and body mass index (BMI) in a community-based setting with a minority sample.

Methods: A convenience sample of 47 primarily African American adults participated in two similar Full Plate Diet nutrition interventions for 6 weeks (group I) and 8 weeks (group II). Participants completed pre-assessment and post-assessment of fruit, vegetable, and fat intake, as well as pre-assessment and post-assessment on physical activity, healthy lifestyle barriers, emotional eating, and BMI.

Conclusions: After intervention, there was a significant increase in intake of fruits and vegetables and decreased fat intake. No significant differences were found in physical activity, healthy lifestyle barriers, emotional eating, or BMI after the intervention.

Implications for practice: A structured, community-based nutrition education program may result in improved dietary habits among African Americans.

1School of Nursing/Department of Mathematics, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida,

2College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois,

3School of Social Work, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, Virginia

Correspondence: Loureen S. Downes, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Boulevard South, School of Nursing, MAR 309, Fort Myers, FL 33965. Tel: (239)590-7449; Fax: (239)590-7474; E-mail:

Competing interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Authors' contributions: L. S. Downes and S. W. Buchholz wrote the initial draft of the manuscript and revised the manuscript for final submission; L. S. Downes and B. Bruster developed the research project and conducted the intervention; M.S. Frock assisted with the educational intervention and data entry; and S. B. Girimurugan and L. F. Fogg provided expertise with data analysis.

Received May 31, 2018

Accepted July 26, 2018

© 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners
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