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Title: Mind (Body and Soul) Over Matter?: A Sociological Case Study of a Black Church’s Obesity Treatment and Prevention Program
Authors: Di Caprio, Cecilia
Advisors: Armstrong, Elizabeth
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: Today, obesity is a national epidemic, and minority populations suffer at a disproportionately higher rate than the rest of the country. These statistics are troubling. While physicians can often fix health issues just using medical interventions, combating obesity requires a collaborative effort between health professionals, social scientists, and policy makers. This thesis explores one solution to the problem, as I conduct a case study on Body and Soul, an obesity management program run through an African-American church, Calvary Baptist. First, I seek to understand what barriers the church congregants face in taking steps to combat obesity, and how Body and Soul works to help people overcome them. Secondly, I explore in greater detail what qualities of Calvary contribute to the success of the program. I combine an extensive review of the literature on obesity and on the Black Church, with an analysis of interviews conducted with churchgoers. I conclude that Body and Soul successfully helps to combat the barriers faced by its congregation in their weight loss journeys, and that the structure, spiritual message, and values of the church contribute to the program’s success. The findings from this thesis can help to inform future research about obesity treatment and prevention programs, and can potentially assist in the creation and evaluation of other similar church-based programs.
Extent: 110 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2017

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