Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Deborah A. Lewis


African American (AA) adolescents have higher rates of obesity than many other ethnic groups, which increases their risk for obesity-related diseases. Culturally sensitive obesity preventive interventions have been unsuccessful, resulting in a steady increase of obesity among AA adolescents. AA adolescents in the southern region of the United States are at a higher risk for obesity and physical inactivity; knowledge and understanding of causative factors remains limited. To identify the impact of programs, a systematic review of the literature focused on structured physical activity and/or dietary education interventions in Mississippi. The ecological framework was used to guide this study. The Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist for Systematic Reviews and Research Syntheses was used to evaluate the effectiveness of programs on reducing the body mass index of AA adolescents in Mississippi. Two reviewers evaluated the identified articles and reached agreement in identifying the body of literature as well as including/excluding the same papers. Eight papers were selected for review. Recommendations from all 8 studies indicated that structured physical activity, dietary education programs, and parental/caregiver involvement in the development of healthy eating habits are necessary to decrease body mass index among AA adolescents. This project might contribute to social change by providing evidence to support programs to reduce obesity and improve health among AA adolescents in Mississippi.

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