Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance
Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change
Intervention Reach and Adoption
Setting: Faith-based community
Target Audience: Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Older Adults
- Recruiting and training a nutrition/PA educator (facilitator)
- Recruiting faith communities
- Recruiting and training lay leaders from each faith community to be involved in the program
- Recruiting faith community members to participate in nutrition/PA sessions
- Administering environmental and policy assessments
- Committing to environmental and policy change (the faith community should commit to at least one environmental change (e.g., posting a map of the parking lot or available trails that details distance) and one policy change (e.g., requiring that fruit be a dessert option) during the first program year
- Implementing the Faithful Families curriculum and using the Faithful Families Planning Guide (where applicable).
- Plan: Know What’s for Dinner
- Shop: Get the Best for Less
- Shop for Value, Check the Facts
- Fix it Fast, Eat at Home
- Choosing More Fruits and Vegetables
- Fix it Safe
- Making Smart Drink Choices
- Choosing to Move More Throughout the Day
- Making the Connection
Faithful Families also has a four–session Chronic Disease curriculum. These are delivered after Eating Smart and Moving More lessons. These lessons follow the same format and contain strategies for reducing risk of four prevalent chronic conditions.
Faithful Families includes a full planning guide that makes adoption of PSE changes by others both feasible and straightforward. It contains draft policy and environmental change templates that a faith community can present to its members for adoption and sample documents to publicize once the changes are implemented. The Planning Guide also includes information on how to establish a health committee within a faith community. Additionally, Faithful Families has developed stand-alone components to support groups and individuals as they adopt healthy behaviors, including a Walking challenge, Fruits and Vegetables challenge, Breastfeeding guide, and guides to family-based classes, grocery store and farmers’ market tours. These additional materials are available for free on the website.
The curriculum and guide are available at FaithfulFamilies.com. While the guide and some additional materials are free, there is a cost associated with the curriculum and training.
A total 39 of 48 (81%) faith communities implemented at least one PSE change. Seventeen of 39 faith-based organizations (FBOs) (44%) selected PSE changes related to nutrition policies or the nutrition environment. Of these, 7 faith communities implemented policies to serve water or unsweetened beverages and healthy food options during events; 4 promoted nutrition standards through posted information (i.e., posters, flyers); 4 introduced nutrition-related topics during services; and 2 expanded existing community gardens to donate produce to local food non-profit organizations, potentially impacting over 2,200 faith community members.
Sixteen of 39 faith communities (41%) selected at least one Faith Community Assessment (FCA) priority question related to physical activity. Of these, 9 faith communities mapped walking trails around facilities for community use; 7 installed benches along walking trails and promoted trails through signage and wayfinding; 6 established physical activity breaks for all meetings; 3 promoted physical activity standards and activities via posted information (i.e., posters, flyers); and 3 held fitness classes for the local community, potentially affecting over 2,500 faith community members.
Similar PSE results have been found in other states. A full list of additional studies and publications can be found here: https://faithfulfamilies.com/who-we-are/evidence/.
|Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST)||Changes – Medium Term (MT)||Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT)||Population Results (R)|
|Environmental Settings||MT5, MT6|
|Sectors of Influence|
Faithful Families provides faith communities with tools to assess each faith community’s unique assets and identify ways in which a faith community can use their assets to implement changes for community health. The curriculum includes an entry and exit form for participants who complete the nine-lesson class series. Additionally, The Faith Community Assessment is an audit tool that can measure changes in policies, systems, and environments to promote healthy eating and physical activity. It is meant to be filled out by a member of the faith community. It helps the faith community to better understand their resources, assets, and needs. The results of this assessment can be used to develop policy, systems, and environmental changes that can best support health in that particular faith community. The assessment can be completed online or by hand. If completing online, the results of the assessments can be downloaded as a PDF.
The evaluation is a pre-post design with no comparison group. The evaluation plan provides guidance on evaluation questions and types and sources of data for both process and outcome evaluation. The Faithful Families Logic Model and Evaluation Plan can be found at on the Center TRT website: http://www.centertrt.org/?a=intervention&id=1090§ion=10
Evaluation materials for the program can be found here: https://faithfulfamilies.com/tools-videos/tools/#CommunityAssessment
Dr. Annie Hardison-Moody
Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences
North Carolina State University
Phone: (919) 515-8478