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Healthcare 2017, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/healthcare5010006

Reducing Low Birth Weight among African Americans in the Midwest: A Look at How Faith-Based Organizations Are Poised to Inform and Influence Health Communication on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)

1
Department of Family Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS 66106, USA
2
Department of Sociology, Health Policy and Management, University of Kansas-Lawrence, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sampath Parthasarathy
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [201 KB, uploaded 4 February 2017]

Abstract

Low birth weight (LBW) rates remain the highest among African Americans despite public health efforts to address these disparities; with some of the highest racial disparities in the Midwest (Kansas). The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) perspective offers an explanation for how LBW contributes to racial health disparities among African Americans and informs a community directed health communication framework for creating sustainable programs to address these disparities. Trusted community organizations such as faith-based organizations are well situated to explain health communication gaps that may occur over the life course. These entities are underutilized in core health promotion programming targeting underserved populations and can prove essential for addressing developmental origins of LBW among African Americans. Extrapolating from focus group data collected from African American church populations as part of a social marketing health promotion project on cancer prevention, we theoretically consider how a similar communication framework and approach may apply to address LBW disparities. Stratified focus groups (n = 9) were used to discover emergent themes about disease prevention, and subsequently applied to explore how faith-based organizations (FBOs) inform strategic health care (media) advocacy and health promotion that potentially apply to address LBW among African Americans. We argue that FBOs are poised to meet health promotion and health communication needs among African American women who face social barriers in health. View Full-Text
Keywords: low birth weight; African Americans; faith-based organizations; developmental origins of health and disease/DOHaD; health promotion; health communication; media advocacy; social marketing low birth weight; African Americans; faith-based organizations; developmental origins of health and disease/DOHaD; health promotion; health communication; media advocacy; social marketing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lumpkins, C.Y.; Saint Onge, J.M. Reducing Low Birth Weight among African Americans in the Midwest: A Look at How Faith-Based Organizations Are Poised to Inform and Influence Health Communication on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Healthcare 2017, 5, 6.

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