Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Allison Terry


The risk for obesity is especially prevalent among African American adults in Central Virginia, who have one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation. Efforts to address obesity in African American adults through diet, weight reduction, and increased physical activity in settings such as schools, worksites, healthcare organizations, churches, and communities, are among the initiatives of Healthy People 2020. The objective of this project, conducted with 91 African American adults (33 females and 58 males) in central Virginia, was to complete a community needs assessment that related to obesity among members of an African American church. The needs assessment was an 8-question voluntary quantitative survey that collected data on 4 independent variables (age, income, access to fruits and vegetables, and visiting a doctor in the past year for health concerns) and 2 dependent variables (concern about obesity and willingness to attend health education classes at local church). The Health Belief Model and the Health Promotion Model were both utilized in this project. The Spearman's rho and Chi-square statistics were used to analyze the data. Age was significantly associated with concern about obesity: As age increased, concern about obesity decreased. Income was significantly associated with willingness to attend health education classes at the local church: As income level increased, willingness to attend health education classes increased. Ten out of 11 adults who reported a lack of access to fruits and vegetables reported not being concerned about obesity. The results of the needs assessment may result in a positive social change in the church community through program development and implementation to target identified needs.