Better Me Within Randomized Trial: Faith-Based Diabetes Prevention Program for Weight Loss in African American Women

Heather Kitzman, Abdullah Mamun, Leilani Dodgen, Donna Slater, George King, Alene King, J. Lee Slater, Mark DeHaven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous DPP translations in African American women have been suboptimal. This trial evaluated a community-based participatory research developed faith-based diabetes prevention program (DPP) to improve weight loss in African American women. Design: This cluster randomized trial allocated churches to faith-based (FDPP) or standard (SDPP) DPP interventions. Setting. African American churches. Subjects. Eleven churches with 221 African American women (aged 48.8 ± 11.2 years, BMI = 36.7 ± 8.4) received the FDPP (n = 6) or SDPP (n = 5) intervention. Intervention: FDPP incorporated 5 faith-based components, including pastor involvement, into the standard DPP curriculum. The SDPP used the standard DPP curriculum. Lay health leaders facilitated interventions at church sites. Measures: Weight and biometrics were collected by blinded staff at baseline, 4- and 10-months. Analysis: A multilevel hierarchical regression model compared the FDPP and SDPP groups on outcomes. Results: FDPP and SDPP churches significantly lost weight at 10-months (overall −2.6%, p <.01). Women in FDPP churches who attended at least 15 sessions lost an additional 6.1 pounds at 4-months compared to SDPP corresponding to a 5.8% reduction at 10-months (p <.05). Both groups had significant improvements in health behaviors and biometrics. Conclusions: Faith-based and standard DPP interventions led by lay health leaders successfully improved weight, health behaviors, and chronic disease risk. However, the faith-based DPP when fully implemented met the CDC’s recommendation for weight loss for diabetes prevention in African American women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-213
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • community-based participatory research
  • diabetes prevention program
  • faith-based
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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