African American, barriers, dietary habits, fiber, minority, nutrition education, physical activity



  1. Downes, Loureen S. (Associate Professor)


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.