Addressing health disparities among African Americans: using the stages of change model to document attitudes and decisions about nutrition and physical activity.
Paschal, Angelia M
Lewis-Moss, Rhonda K
White, Beverly J
Paschal, Angelia M and Lewis-Moss, Rhonda K and Sly, Jamilia and White, Beverly J (2010) Addressing health disparities among African Americans: using the stages of change model to document attitudes and decisions about nutrition and physical activity. Journal of community health, 35 (1). pp. 10-17.
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Physical activity (PA) and poor fruit/vegetable intake are contributors of health disparities among African Americans (AA). In order to design effective interventions to address these behaviors, it is essential to assess where individuals are in terms of their attitudes and decisions. The aim of this study was to use the Stages of Change Model to assess AA's attitudes and decisions regarding pertinent health behaviors and provide suggestions about how to address them. A survey was administered to 242 low-income, medically underserved adults (47% AA, 27% White, and 26% "Others"). The majority was in the SOC's: "contemplation" stage for PA (they were considering PA); "maintenance" stage for vegetable intake (they had consumed > or =3 vegetable servings daily for > or =6 months); and in the "contemplation" stage for fruit intake (those grouped as "Others" were significantly more likely to be in the "maintenance" stage). Although education and awareness are important, this study has implications for interventions with greater emphasis on creating environments or providing resources to promote or support behavioral change.