Investigating Denominational and Church Attendance Differences in Obesity and Diabetes in Black Christian Men and Women

  • Keisha L. Bentley-Edwards
  • Loneke T. Blackman CarrEmail author
  • Paul. A. Robbins
  • Eugenia Conde
  • Khaing Zaw
  • William A. DarityJr.
Original Paper


Prior investigations of the relationships between religious denomination and diabetes and obesity do not consider the nuance within black faith traditions. This study used data from the National Survey of American Life (n = 4344) to identify denominational and religious attendance differences in obesity and diabetes among black Christian men and women. Key findings indicated that black Catholics and Presbyterians had lower odds of diabetes than Baptists. Black men that attended church almost daily were nearly twice as likely to be obese than those that never attend services. These results indicate that denomination and gender should inform faith-based and placed health promotion approaches.


Denomination Obesity Diabetes African Americans Religion 



This study was funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01 MD011606-01 A1).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social EquityDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.General Internal MedicineDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and EconomicsDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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