When Shepherds Shed: Trajectories of Weight-Related Behaviors in a Holistic Health Intervention Tailored for US Christian Clergy


Abstract Maintaining healthy behaviors is challenging. Based upon previous reports that in North Carolina (NC), USA, overweight/obese clergy lost weight during a two-year religiously tailored health intervention, we described trajectories of diet, physical activity, and sleep. We investigated whether behavior changes were associated with weight and use of health-promoting theological messages. Improvements were observed in sleep, calorie-dense food intake, and physical activity, with the latter two associated with weight loss. While theological messages were well-retained, their relationship with behaviors depended on the specific message, behavior, and timing. Findings offer insights into weight loss mechanisms, including the role of theological messages in religiously tailored health interventions.

Journal of Religion and Health