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Effects of Promoting Health Among Teens on Dietary, Physical Activity and Substance Use Knowledge and Behaviors for African American Adolescents



BACKGROUND: African Americans are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease and cancer. Health promotion interventions hold promise for reducing health disparities.

PURPOSE: Promoting Health Among Teens (PHAT) is a brief, culturally tailored health education intervention to decrease cardiovascular disease and cancer risk for African Americans. This study evaluated the effects of PHAT for African American adolescents ages 14 to 17 in four eastern cities in the USA.

METHODS: A randomized controlled design (N = 1,654) was used to determine differences in health knowledge, diet, physical activity, and substance use behaviors between PHAT participants and a sexual health promotion control group. Data were collected at baseline, three, six, and twelve months post intervention. Growth curve modeling was used to detect differences in health knowledge, dietary behaviors, physical activity, and substance use between PHAT and control group participants.

RESULTS: PHAT participants had significantly greater knowledge gains but modest behavior changes compared to control group participants.

DISCUSSION: PHAT is a promising intervention to increase knowledge and address selected health behaviors in African American youth.

TRANSLATION TO HEALTH EDUCATION PRACTICE: Future attempts to execute PHAT should continue its emphasis on knowledge building while increasing intervention dosage and modifying length of time for intervention sessions.


  • Lucy Annang
  • Larry K. Brown
  • Michael P. Carey
  • Ralph J. DiClemente
  • Naomi Farber
  • Jelani C. Kerr
  • John B. Jemmott III
  • Loretta Sweet Jemmott
  • Daniel Romer
  • Salazar
  • Bonita Stanton
  • Melinda Spencer
  • Robert F. Valois
  • Peter A. Vanable