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Reduced Prevalence of Obesity in 14 Disadvantaged Black Communities in the United States: A Successful 4-Year Place-Based Participatory Intervention
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  • Alternative Title:
    Am J Public Health
  • Description:

    To assess the impact of a large-scale place-based intervention on obesity prevalence in Black communities.


    The Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health across the United States (REACH US) project was conducted in 14 predominantly Black communities in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. We measured trends from 2009 to 2012 in the prevalence of obesity. We used Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data to compare these trends with trends among non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks in the United States and in the 10 states where REACH communities were located, and with a propensity score–matched national sample of non-Hispanic Blacks.


    The age-standardized prevalence of obesity decreased in REACH US communities (P = .045), but not in the comparison populations (P = .435 to P = .996). The relative change was −5.3% in REACH US communities versus +2.4% in propensity score–matched controls (P value for the difference = .031). The net effect on the reduction of obesity prevalence was about 1 percentage point per year for REACH.


    Obesity prevalence was reduced in 14 disadvantaged Black communities that participated in the REACH project.

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