Date of Conferral





Public Health


Hebatullah Tawfik


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a deadly and costly cancer, especially among African Americans. The purpose of this quantitative, retrospective, cross-sectional study was to examine African Americans' health behaviors that may have an association with CRC. The Health Belief Model was used to guide this study. The study addressed whether there is a statistical association between fruit intake, vegetable intake, and physical activity, and the occurrence of CRC while controlling for confounders, such as body mass index, smoking status, and income level. After conducting an overall analysis, the final research question examined if the association varied by race. In this study, data from 14,451 people in the Health Information National Trends Survey database were analyzed using binary logistic regression analysis. There was no association between the intake of fruits and vegetables and the occurrence of CRC in this population. Physical activity had a statistically significant association with CRC, with physical activity being protective against the occurrence of CRC among the whole sample population (adjusted OR = .671, 95% CI = [.458-983], p = .040). When stratified by race the association between Physical activity and CRC was only significant among Whites. The findings of this study have positive social change implications for practitioners designing CRC prevention programs, who should focus on increasing physical activity levels yielding healthier living in general. Future research should focus on addressing other possible risk factors in the African American population including genetic predispositions and gene-environment interactions.