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Original Research

Community intervention trial promote healthy behaviors in farmers in Tianjin, China

Guohong Jiang, Matthew L. Boulton, Zhuo Wang, Jing Li, Wei Li, Dezheng Wang, Hao Liu, Wenlong Zheng, Yi Yang, Gai Chang, Fan Zhang, JoLynn P. Montgomery.


Objectives: To assess a community intervention trial promoting healthier lifestyles in rural Chinese farmers using the stage of change health behavior model.Methods: A community intervention trial utilized an intervention and control village with farmers as study subjects. The intervention village (n= 549) participated in a stage-specific interventions while the control village (n=557) received general health education messages.Farmers in both villages were initially categorized using the stage of change model and observed for attitudinal and behavior changes over one year. Data collection included dietary habits, physical activity, anthropomorphic measures, and biomarkers at baseline, mid-point, and study termination. Results: The intervention group demonstrated greater progress in moving from awareness to the action stage in their adoption of healthier behaviors. Total cholesterol, homocysteine, blood pressure and urine sodium decreased while blood and urine folic acid increased in intervention subjects only. Conclusions: The first documented use of the stage of change model in rural Chinese farmers was successful at increasing healthier eating and physical activity in an infrequently studied population. Given China’s escalating burden of chronic diseases, the stage of change model should further be evaluated in promoting healthier behaviors and addressing lifestyle related illness in the world’s most populous nation.

Key words: farmers, nutrition intervention, vegetables, fruit, physical activities

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