Honors Theses

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Susan Pedigo

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Type-2 diabetes and obesity are two major health complications that are affecting many Mississippians, namely the African American population. A substantial amount of research has been conducted that explains the high prevalence rate of type-2 diabetes and obesity in the African American community as partially due to many secondary factors, including the Southern cuisine, food scarcity, physical inactivity, and poverty. Recently, efforts to reach the African American population about diabetes education and prevention in other Southern states have been directed to faith-based organizations. Researchers have hoped that faith-based intervention might be better suited at helping a wider audience in a more sustainable and long-term manner. Such studies of faith-based intervention, however, have been rare in Mississippi. This study aims to qualitatively assess the current landscape of health ministry and nutritional awareness in the African American churches of Mississippi. Pastors from eight churches were interviewed about their church's food service, their experience with health, their opinions on health and the Bible, and their willingness to incorporate change. These interviews were then used to pinpoint potential obstacles, novel ideas, and predictors of success in future studies using faith-based intervention in Mississippi churches. Through this research, I hope to generate much needed dialogue and scientific analysis of nutritional health and reveal the potential impact that the African American church can play in preventative health initiatives. By using non-traditional, culturally competent methods, preventative health programs may be able to produce more effective and longer lasting results by utilizing the power of culture and community to instigate change in the incidence and prevalence rates of type-2 diabetes in Mississippi's African American population.

Included in

Chemistry Commons

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