Addressing obesity and diabetes among African American men: examination of a community-based model of prevention.
The Save Our Sons study is a community-based, culturally responsive, and gender-specific intervention aimed at reducing obesity and diabetes among a small sample (n = 42) of African American men. The goals of the study were to: (1) test the feasibility of implementing a group health education and intervention model to reduce the incidence of diabetes and obesity among African American men; (2) improve regular access to and utilization of health care services and community supportive resources to promote healthy lifestyles among African American men; and (3) build community networks and capacity for advocacy and addressing some of the health needs of African American men residing in Lorain County, Ohio. Trained community health workers facilitated activities to achieve program aims. Following the 6-week intervention, results indicated that participant's had greater knowledge about strategies for prevention and management of obesity and diabetes; increased engagement in exercise and fitness activities; decreased blood pressure, weight, and body mass index levels; and visited a primary care doctor more frequently. Also, local residents elevated African American men's health and identified it as a priority in their community. This model of prevention appears to be a substantial, robust, and replicable approach for improving the health and wellbeing of African American men.