1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

Article Content

Among blacks living in rural areas there is a high prevalence of diabetes, and dietary self-management tends to be inadequate. In an attempt to reverse this trend, researchers implemented a dietary intervention called "soul food light," used with a group of 97 black patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were living in rural South Carolina; the intervention consisted of a series of classes focusing on planning, purchasing, and preparing healthful, low-fat foods, and practical and culturally compatible strategies for reducing fats. According to the study authors, it incorporated "ethnic beliefs, values, customs, food preferences, language, learning methods, and health care practices of southern African Americans."


Teaching methods included demonstration, storytelling, and "role modeling." Because many in this population view meals as social events, most classes concluded with a meal prepared using low-fat techniques and ingredients. In addition to classes, the intervention included discussion groups involving peers and health professionals, as well as telephone follow-up.


Participants lowered their dietary fat intake and their body weight and showed slight improvements in glucose control and lipid levels. Meanwhile, members of a control group who received only a referral to a local diabetes program maintained their usual high-fat diet and gained weight.


Anderson-Loftin W, et al. Diabetes Educ 2005;31(4):555-63.